Custom House pensioner says Crossrail work prevented ambulance from parking outside her home
PUBLISHED: 19:08 18 March 2013 | UPDATED: 19:08 18 March 2013
A widow has warned “somebody could die” after paramedics were unable to park outside her home because of Crossrail construction work.
Terrified pensioner Lilian Bruton called 999 when she thought she was suffering from a heart attack – but although emergency crews arrived quickly, they had to carry her on a stretcher for a five-minute walk to the waiting ambulance around the corner.
The 76-year-old, who lives in a retirement bungalow complex in Custom House, slammed Crossrail saying the lack of access to Victoria Dock Road is putting lives at risk, although the company insists it is doing everything it can to help residents.
Lilian’s elderly neighbours are furious too, saying the construction work itself is making their lives a misery as Crossrail builds new railway tunnels beneath the East End.
Lilian’s suspected heart attack a few weeks ago turned out to be a false alarm, but she said: “The ambulance had to park around the corner in Murray Square. That’s at least a five-minute walk, but it felt like a lifetime.
“If one of us was taken ill we could die before reaching the ambulance - there’s no access. This is a continual problem.”
The work carries on throughout the night, and the pensioner blasted the noise of generators and equipment, and said she’s even had to pack away her ornaments for fear the vibrations will cause them to fall from her shelves.
And the site’s giant floodlights are positioned near her bedroom window, which makes the middle of the night “feel like daylight”, she added.
Her neighbours are also calling on Crossrail to do more to minimise the inconvenience, and many levelled similar complaints at the company when they spoke to this newspaper.
But a spokesman for Crossrail said: “We understand residents’ concerns and are doing everything we can to keep any disruption to an absolute minimum. Any complaints are thoroughly investigated and acted upon wherever possible.”
Security guards have been instructed to help elderly residents, he added, and pointed out site lighting was repositioned following complaints from neighbours while the noise levels are monitored to ensure they are within legal limits.
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