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Cyclist hurt on Norwich Northern Distributor Road roundabout waited three hours for ambulance

PUBLISHED: 08:51 22 December 2017 | UPDATED: 08:57 22 December 2017

The newly opened stretch of the NDR, between Wroxham Road and Cromer Road.  Picture: ANTONY KELLY

The newly opened stretch of the NDR, between Wroxham Road and Cromer Road. Picture: ANTONY KELLY

Archant Norfolk 2017

Ambulance bosses have apologised after a cyclist, knocked down on a new roundabout connected to the Norwich Northern Distributor Road, had to wait three hours to be treated.

The East of England Ambulance Service said the trust had declared the day of the crash as ‘surge black’ - when they are under severe pressure - and they had to prioritise other, life-threatening calls above that patient.

The 33-year-old cyclist was in a crash with a Ford Focus at the roundabout where the A140 Cromer Road meets the NDR. Norfolk police were called to Monday’s crash at 4.53pm and the East of England Ambulance Service were called at 5.09pm.

But an ambulance did not get to the man until 7.51pm, when he was taken to the Norfolk and Norwich University Hospital with a back injury.

A spokeswoman for the East of England Ambulance Trust said: “At the time of the call, the trust was on surge black and was extremely busy.

“On Monday, there were 615 calls to the ambulance service for jobs in Norfolk – of these, 38 were immediately life threatening.

“At the time of this incident, there were three calls categorised as immediately life threatening in the Norwich area that were prioritised above this patient, as his condition was not life-threatening.

“We apologise to the patient for any distress caused by the wait and would urge them to get in touch if they have any concerns.”

Tony Clarke, from the Norwich Cycling Campaign, said he was concerned over other near misses on the NDR and roads leading to it and reported his concerns to Norfolk County Council.

A spokeswoman for the council said the completed sections had been through two safety audits, with another due next year.

She said: “We’ve been very rigorous in making sure that safety standards are being met and these audits are part of this process that will help to identify any tweaks we need to make.”

She added it could take people a while to get used to new roads and recent Department for Transport data confirmed most crashes are caused by driver or rider behaviour.

She said: “We would encourage people using the NDR to be particularly mindful of keeping their concentration and be especially patient with other people on the road.”

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