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Iraq veteran uses map skills to plot Norwich development Queen's Hills after ambulance gets lost

Dan Rider with the latest version of his map of Queen's Hills at Costessey.  Photo: Bill Smith

Dan Rider with the latest version of his map of Queen's Hills at Costessey. Photo: Bill Smith

Archant © 2012

A former soldier has used his cartography skills picked up in the Middle East to map out the ever-changing Queen's Hills estate after his neighbour waited 45 minutes for an ambulance.

Much of the new housing estate in Costessey is not on GPS and, with homes added in fits and starts over the years, it is constantly changing – which can be a problem for the emergency services.

Site manager at Queen’s Hills Primary School Dan Rider was spurred into action three years ago after his pregnant neighbour waited almost an hour for help.

“It should have taken two minutes from Longwater Lane,” he said. “They typed in the postcode in their sat nav which was not the postcode on the map.”

Mr Rider’s neighbour was fine, but the scare brought home to him how an accurate map of the housing estate could save lives.

The father-of-two, who left the forces in 2008, used an original ordnance survey drawing and has been updating it as new homes and roads are added.

He is now on his fifth version.

The 31-year-old got maps of new developments from the council and drew them on to the original map using Photoshop. The drawings are scaled to match the original map.

Mr Rider, who served in Iraq and Egypt with the Royal Artillery, took his completed map down to the ambulance and police stations.

Day-to-day the map, which is put on the welcome sign at the entrance to the estate, helps visitors find their way.

Mr Rider said: “It has been a real labour of love for the last three years. The school uses it constantly.”

To download the map for free visit www.queenshills.co.uk

Do you have a story for the Evening News? Contact reporter Tom Bristow on 01603772313 or email tom.bristow@archant.co.uk

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