Person died in Buckinghamshire after roadworks stopped ambulance getting through

Angela Macpherson, who represents Grendon Underwood Ward for Buckinghamshire Council said it happened in her ward. Credit: PA

A person died after roadworks stopped an ambulance getting through a street, a councillor has said.

Angela Macpherson, who represents Grendon Underwood Ward for Buckinghamshire Council, spoke during Thursday's Health and Adult Social Care Select Committee.

She said: "In my area, we have got two-year road closures. We have got road closures that keep getting delayed, put back, and reinstated. It is mayhem."

She added: "We had an incident - I believe in Verney Junction, which is in my ward - where the ambulance couldn't get through.

"They had not been notified and, sadly, I think somebody passed away because the ambulance couldn't get through.

"These sorts of things - not quite as acute - are happening all the time and impacting on people's lives."

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The councillor did not provide any further details about the ambulance incident, including when the person died. She has been approached for comment.

Her concerns came as councillors at the Committee meeting were shown a progress report for the South Central Ambulance Service.

Other councillors echoed Cllr Macpherson's fears that roadworks may be severely disrupting the urgent journeys of ambulance crews.

Committee Chair Jane MacBean claimed some contractors are providing "false information" and that East-West Rail and HS2 need to be held to account.

Cllr Susan Morgan added: "Yesterday, the traffic was backed from Stoke Mandeville Hospital into Stone.

"Then you have only got traffic coming one way and I thought at the time, 'How is an ambulance supposed to get through?'"

She added: "We have got Thames Water - they are the ones causing the issue there - alongside other companies. So, it is not just HS2 and East West Rail."

Cllr MacBean claimed that Bucks Council's Cabinet was trying to introduce tougher fines as a deterrent to utility companies and others that overrun permits and leave roadworks sites empty.

She said: "Delays due to waterworks and gas are frustrating. I do know that our Cabinet members are on it."

She added: "We are talking about potential - and quite possibly actual - loss of life as a direct result and the information is not being shared in a meaningful way with our blue light services."

South Central Ambulance Service's head of operations, Mark Begley, also told the meeting that sometimes ambulance crews are caught completely unaware by road closures.

He said: "We find road closures that we had no idea were going to happen. But on the whole, we are made aware of road closures… But that is not 100 per cent of the time."

HS2 previously said it aimed to minimise the impact of its work on local communities "wherever possible".