Police close off Wisbech town centre after ambulance on 999 call clips scaffolding trying to avoid illegally parked car
- Credit: Archant
The centre of Wisbech was blocked off today after an ambulance answering a 999 call clipped protruding scaffold.
A police spokesman said: 'Please avoid the area. Hill Street is closed due to an ambulance responding to a 999 call has hit scaffolding on Union Street.'
Police blame a motorist who had parked illegally making it difficult for the ambulance to pass; a police spokesman said the driver of the illegally parked vehicle had been issued with a fixed penalty notice.
Much of the town centre remains sealed off and many shops have been hit by lack of trade.
One shopper said: 'It seems many traders have been affected – and some shops closed early.
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'They are waiting for health and safety officials to arrive – but why the need to block off such a wide area?'
Former town mayor Jonathan Farmer said an ambulance hit the scaffolding surrounding the Norwich and Peterborough Building Society.
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He said: 'This was due to the ambulance having to pass illegally parked vehicles which were there because of the consistent failure by the police to enforce parking in High Street.'
Mr Farmer said: 'The police then cordon off half the market place on market day and the side streets to an excessive distance (more than three times the distance someone could throw a scaffolding pole form the top of the scaffolding).'
He claimed a scaffolding expert had visited the scene and deemed it safe 'yet the police officer in charge of this buffoonery ignores his advice and call for the health and safety executive to be called in.'
Mr Farmer- whose wife is Susannah is deputy town clerk – said the market place remained close off 'because a police sergeant is unable to make a decision.
'Many of the problems of Cambridgeshire Police stem from an unwillingness of junior ranks to make a decision if the only consequence of not making a decision is inconveniencing the public.
'The lack of moral fibre shown by this individual eats away at the public confidence in the police and makes them appear to be fools.'
A police spokesman tweeted: 'Half of Wisbech Market Place still closed due to ongoing incident.
'The area remains closed and we are waiting for a structural engineer to assess.'
The spokesman said a fixed penalty noticed had been issued to the driver of the car that forced the ambulance driver to hit the scaffold.
Holiday With Us Group apologised to their customers saying their Wisbech store remained closed due to the accident.