Friday, 25 May 2018

Thoughtless drivers could be putting lives in danger

DRIVERS could be putting lives at risk by parking inconsiderately, claims one of Sonning Common’s community

DRIVERS could be putting lives at risk by parking inconsiderately, claims one of Sonning Common’s community first responders.

Adam Negus, of Elm Court, is one of three volunteer villagers who are called to emergency incidents to provide care before paramedics arrive.

But he says he is sometimes unable to be on call because there are no parking spaces near his home and he has to park hundreds of yards away.

Mr Negus, 44, blames residents of neighbouring streets for taking up spaces in Elm Court, a cul-de-sac off Lea Road.

He said: “There have been times where I have had to park near the entrance to Sonning Common Primary School and if I was on call that would add an extra minute or so to my journey and that time is crucial.

“People parking in the spaces in Elm Court are endangering my ability to perform my public service.

“It could put lives at risk if I have to park further from the house so that it takes me longer to get to the car and longer to get to the location.”

Mr Negus works for St John Ambulance as a trainer and assessor and became a first responder five years ago. The volunteers are not trained to the same level as ambulance crews but can administer first aid and lifesaving treatment such as CPR.

Mr Negus and the other two responders cover Sonning Common and neighbouring Peppard and Kidmore End but can go as far as Nettlebed and Henley.

His problems with parking began a year ago so he complained to Oxfordshire County Council, the highways authority.

He said: “Since 1972 there has been an understanding that six parking bays are compensation for driveways. The houses on other roads have driveways. I’ve written to the county council and the Land Registry to see if the spaces are marked with the properties.”

Mr Negus said there had been several occasions when he was not happy to be on call because of the distance between his home and his car. He said: “As a community first responder, time is so important to me. If I am having to walk further to my car then it is going to impact on the response time.

“We don’t have a set timescale but the ambulance service tries to get there in eight minutes, so we always try to be within that time. We have to use our own cars, which are not marked.”

A new car, with livery, is set to be delivered in the next few weeks.

David Bartholomew, county councillor for Sonning Common, said he had talked to the officials about creating a special space for Mr Negus but said there was no legislation that made a provision for this.

“I’ve not given up but I’m not hopeful,” he said. “I have every sympathy because he is sacrificing his own time to help the community and the community has an obligation to help him in return.”

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