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New £100,000 ambulances taken off road after accelerator pedal gets stuck

PUBLISHED: 15:11 14 October 2019 | UPDATED: 08:55 15 October 2019

The new ambulances were unveiled earlier this year by Paul Henry, deputy director of operations support and EEAST chief executive Dorothy Hosein. Photo: EEAST

The new ambulances were unveiled earlier this year by Paul Henry, deputy director of operations support and EEAST chief executive Dorothy Hosein. Photo: EEAST

EEAST

New ambulances, costing around £100,000 each, had to be taken off the road just weeks after launch when an accelerator pedal became stuck.

New ambulances have been rolled out in Norfolk and Waveney. Photo: EEASTNew ambulances have been rolled out in Norfolk and Waveney. Photo: EEAST

The first of the East of England Ambulance Service's fresh fleet of vehicles hit the road in Norfolk and Waveney in August.

But on October 3 the accelerator pedal became stuck on one vehicle, almost causing a crash, according to one source.

All vehicles were taken off the roads but were back in service within 18 hours, an ambulance spokesman said.

The spokesman said: "We can confirm an issue was reported relating to one of our new Fiat ambulances in central Norfolk around a mechanical accelerator fault.

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"At the time of this incident the ambulance was not on an emergency call or had a patient on board, no staff injuries were reported.

"As a precaution a mechanical review of all of the Fiat ambulances was requested and the issues isolated to a small amount of vehicles, which has subsequently been addressed.

"The findings will be fed back to our suppliers to inform future production and the learning from this incident."

The Trust has invested £21m in 226 Fiat ambulances.

A total of 12 vehicles went into service in Norfolk and Waveney over the summer, with a further 43 set to be rolled out across the eastern region in the coming months and another 171 by next April.

The vehicles are lighter than EEAST's existing fleet, making them more efficient and environmentally-friendly as CO2 emissions, fuel costs and maintenance will be reduced.

They could save the EEAST around £3.3m a year in costs.

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