Parking row could close ambulance station
Ambulance service 'no different from any other business'
A dispute between London Ambulance Service and Hammersmith and Fulham Council could result in the Chiswick ambulance station on Goldhawk Road being closed.
The Council have started to refuse to direct wardens not to ticket ambulances parked in the bus lanes on Goldhawk Road.
Paramedic Graeme Proudfoot, who is based at the station said, "Recently our ambulances have been receiving parking fines for parking on Goldhawk Rd. The service refuse to pay the fines, stating that they they have no obligation to provide staff parking. Hammersmith and Fulham council have made it clear that we are no different to any other business and that we are not exempt from parking restrictions."
Parking within the station is taken up by the paramedics' cars. They say they are unable to afford the parking charges in the area and that unsocial shift hours mean that they need to use their cars to drive to work. The Council is refusing to give the staff local parking permits. If they were unable to park they would transfer to other stations making the closure of this facility likely.
This would mean that the Chiswick, Hammersmith and Shepherd's Bush area would be served by an ambulance station in Hanwell. Response times for ambulances in the area are likely to rise significantly if the closure took place.
There are currently three ambulances based at the station one of which operates on a 24 hour basis.
Both the London Amubulance Service and Hammersmith and Fulham are refusing to give ground on the issue according to Mr. Proudfoot. Neither organisation responded to our request for a comment on the issue.