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“People are going to die” Scots council blasted after video shows ambulance struggling to get through traffic

A SCOTS council has been blasted after a video emerged showing an ambulance struggling to get through traffic due to new bollards being placed between lanes.

Scots have hit out at Edinburgh City Council and believe “people are going to die” as a result of recent “Spaces for People” installments across the city.

The footage, captured by Nicola Hunter on Friday, shows an emergency ambulance with its siren on struggling to get to their destination due to traffic.

Cars would usually be able to move to their left to allow emergency vehicles through.

But on this occasion the ambulance has had to remain in gridlocked traffic on North Bridge due to the council erecting red and white bollards in between the two lanes.

There are cars queued in both the narrow lanes going in both directions and barely moving during the clip.

Barriers at the sides of the streets, to allow wide walking areas for pedestrians, also make it impossible for emergency vehicles to overtake.

The clip has raised serious safety concerns for Scots who have described the bollards, and the entire space scheme, as “dangerous” and saying they could “cost lives”.

Dog walker Nicola, 49, posted the clip onto a local Edinburgh group on Friday, writing: “On the Bridges earlier.”

Speaking today she added: “It’s a terrible situation to be in for the ambulance crews and the drivers with nowhere to go.

The gridlocked city centre bridge -Scottish Traffic News
It took a whole seven minutes for the ambulance to pass.                                                                       (c) Nicola Hunter

“No one beeped their horn and we were stuck for about six or seven minutes.

“The ambulance only got past at the very bottom at the lights. 

“It was a feeling of being trapped, helpless to do anything and very stressful thinking of the person having the emergency.”

More than 100 people have commented on the post and slammed the council over the situation.

One member said: “People are going to die with all this Spaces for People nonsense.” 

Another local resident commented: “How on earth is this being allowed to happen?

“Dangerous, congestion causing and a complete waste of funds that could be put towards countless far more worthy causes.”

Another wrote: “Always going to happen when you have a Clowncil like ours. Disgraceful.”

The busy city centre street that the ambulance couldn't pass - Scottish Traffic News
The bridge has been getting structural repairs for over two years.                                                           (c) Nicola Hunter

Another concerned local added: “Unbelievable the council never thought of this happening.

“People have been saying this would happen for months. Now imagine a terrorist attack happening in the city centre, how many would die before police could get there?” 

While one social media user added: “Absolutely disgusting.

“Emergency services unable to get through our streets. The wasted minutes could cause lives.” 

In May 2020 the Scottish government announced funding for Spaces for People programmes.

The scheme aims to provide safe options for essential journeys during the coronavirus pandemic – including widening pavements and adding cycle lanes.

The council hopes to help residents have more space for walking around the capital and give cyclists more options.

However, the scheme has been largely criticised by Scots for placing large planters at junctions near schools, creating confusing traffic lanes that lead to nowhere and placing bollards in the middle of roads.

According to the Scottish Road Works Commissioner (SRWC) there are currently 1,390 roadworks taking place in Edinburgh at the moment.

In March 2018, the City of Edinburgh Council agreed to invest £22m in refurbishing Edinburgh’s North Bridge.

The repairs to North Bridge started on 2 July 2018 and are affecting the whole road and pavements from the High Street to Princes Street.

It was expected to take just over two years but had already taken longer than expected.

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