Thu, 10 Nov 2016
VITAL access to Greenham and Crookham Commons in an emergency could be blocked by parked cars after vandals struck.
The Berkshire, Buckinghamshire and Oxfordshire Wildlife Trust (BBOWT), which looks after the commons on behalf of West Berkshire Council, has been working to make Greenham Common a safer place for visitors.
It has teamed up with the South Central Ambulance Service and Thatcham town councillor Anne Johnson (Con, Thatcham South and Crookham) to ensure emergency services can access the common during an incident.
But plans to ensure that an emergency access gate on to Old Thornford Road was not blocked hit a snag on October 19.
A metal sign requesting that the entrance be kept clear for emergency vehicles was ripped from its rivets by vandals less than 24 hours after it had been installed.
Senior land manager from the wildlife trust, Alex Cruickshank, said: “It is vital that this entrance is kept clear to allow emergency access onto the commons.
“Lots of people visit Greenham and Crookham Commons, many on bikes or on horses.
“Unfortunately accidents can happen, and when they do the ambulance service needs to reach those people as quickly as possible, and a blocked gate can have serious consequences.”
Mrs Johnson, whose son is a paramedic, said: “I am very disappointed that this has happened.
“We all have a duty to allow the emergency services to do their job, and these incidents just make their response to public emergency calls even more difficult.”
Thames Valley Police have been informed and the sign will be replaced.
The trust is considering other options to prevent parking in the area.