THE LATEST ADDITIONS TO THE GREAT WESTERN AMBULANCE SERVICE fleet in Great Britain are too heavy for Bristol’s most famous bridge. The historic suspension bridge was designed and built by famous engineer Isambard Brunel 150 years ago. While it remains structurally sound, it has a weight limit of 4 tons.
Clifton Suspension Bridge (Getty image)
As ambulances everywhere are getting larger and larger, the GWAS has recently taken possession of some units that weigh nearly 5 tons. So the word has been issued: All GWAS ambulances are required to use alternate routes to get from one side of the river chasm to the other. Rapid Response vehicles can continue to use the bridge, however.
Bristol Ambulance photo by 999Josh
The added response time of the 2-mile detour is partly offset by the higher speed limits on the revised route. Fire engines are also prohibited from using the bridge.
The Bristol area of the GWAS already holds the distinction of having the worst response times of any ambulance service in the UK. Just last month the Bristol News reported:
Great Western Ambulance Service (GWAS) failed to meet national targets for attending life-threatening emergencies every year since it was formed in 2006.
It has also continuously been the worst performing trust in England for the same period.
You can read the entire article HERE.