Page last updated at 11:58 GMT, Friday, 18 December 2009

Abandoned vehicles delay 999 crew

Snow at Old Hemel Hempstead
A snow scene at Old Hemel Hempstead

Vehicles abandoned in a Hertfordshire village blocked an ambulance trying to reach a pregnant woman.

The crew arrived in snow-bound Walkern to find a road blocked and only got to the woman with the help of driver using a 4x4 car.

Gary Sanderson, of East of England Ambulance Service, appealed for motorists to be more considerate.

Heavy snow and ice is causing problems for travellers across Bedfordshire, Buckinghamshire and Hertfordshire.

Some roads have been closed and others are only passable with care.

Further snow

Luton Airport has reopened but the shuttle service between Parkway station and the terminal is still suspended.

More than 350 schools are shut in Hertfordshire, at least 60 in Luton and about 88 in the rest of Bedfordshire.

More snow is expected later.

Power cuts are also being reported in parts of Hertfordshire.

The Arriva bus company has suspended all services in Stevenage, Hemel Hempstead and High Wycombe but will attempt a normal service in Milton Keynes.

Hertfordshire Police said they had dealt with more than 400 emergency calls through the night.

The A505, between Hitchin and Luton, is closed and the A507, between Baldock and Royston, is not passable.

Another badly-affected area is west of Hemel Hempstead towards Tring on the A41 where there have been a series of jackknifed lorries.

Police said they had struggled to reach them as conditions were so treacherous.

'Use service wisely'

The M40 is closed both ways in Buckinghamshire after a serious accident involving two lorries, a coach and a car between junctions 4 and 5.

Operational bosses at the East of England Ambulance Service are calling on the public to use common sense and only call 999 for a true urgent or emergency need.

David Donegan, chief operating officer, said: "We are responding to calls for emergency assistance and will be deploying 4x4 vehicles to help us reach more isolated locations.

"However, we are relying on the public's good sense to use the 999 service wisely to help us respond to people who need our assistance for true emergencies."



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SEE ALSO
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