Ambulance row at Linlithgow cycling event

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A statement made by Pedal For Scotland organisers in last week’s Gazette about ease of access for emergency services has been contested.

The massive event, which took place on Sunday, September 9, is accused by its critics of throwing Linlithgow into a state of lockdown. It has also been argued that this could spark tragedy if an ambulance was barred from rushing to the scene of an emergency.

Last week, an organiser for PFS Scotland stated that there were no emergency service issues but since then, an individual who we have agreed not to name has come forward to dispute that.

The source said: “Staff had a huge problem trying to get out of the ambulance station at St Michael’s Hospital due to the road being blocked off.

“Although there was a Scottish Ambulance Service document stating that emergency vehicles should operate as normal, they were subsequently refused access to Edinburgh Road out of the station by event marshalls.

“One said only blue light emergency calls were allowed through. It was explained that there are other calls we do such as standby, routine and urgent which don’t require blue lights but he said no go. They refused to discuss it so staff had to return to the station.

“They eventually managed to sort this out but the initial response caused delays going on standby.”

“Pedal for Scotland is a great event but the last couple of years the complete locking down of roads is without compromise. I know event manager say that procedures were put in place to ensure carers go to their patients,

“I’m not sure how effective this would have been as there was definitely was a disconnect between the top level management and event staff on the ground.”

PFS was asked for comment but did not provide this and referred us instead to SAS press officers, who said they were unaware of any such incident.