A blog by Green Party Councillor Andrew Cooper about Kirklees Council and our activity to improve the local and global environment (and also anything that I fancy talking about)
Friday, 3 February 2012
Why can’t ambulances go in bus lanes in Kirklees?
The easy answer is of course because they’re not a bus but as with many things there’s a little bit more to it than that. Taxis can go in bus lanes and I remember arguing against this at the time when it came up at Council. The reasoning being that taxis aren’t mass public transport they are usually just one or two people being driven around in a car and as such should experience the full joy of being in a car on Lockwood Road, or wherever, at rush hour. Though I lost the vote on that one it did open the Pandora’s Box of what else might go in the bus lane? When I say ambulances I don’t mean emergency ambulances with blue flashing lights. There would be furore if they got a ticket while rushing someone to hospital for life saving equipment. What I’m talking about is the ambulances that regularly ferry people to and from hospital and home for medical treatment. Though many of the people using these services are not in immediate medical need they may be in some discomfort, may need toilet facilities or be held up for an appointment which may then have a knock on effect on other patients appointments. I am told that currently ambulances without flashing lights can be fined for going in bus lanes. These ambulances are effectively being used as taxis the only difference being that the passengers are not in as healthy a condition and may not be able to afford a taxi.
I am a Green Party Councillor on Kirklees Council and have been since May 1999. I was the Green Party Candidate for the General Election in the Huddersfield Parliamentary Constituency. I work in the energy efficiency/microgeneration sector and have done for the last 20 years or so.