One of the trial ambulances, similar to those that will soon be patrolling Southend.

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A number of concerned South Essex residents have questioned the decision to purchase 30 new ambulances with snow ploughs attached – their main concern is that the area is only seriously affected by snow every few years. With financial pressures being felt throughout the NHS, many feel that the specially-modified vehicles are going to be a ‘tremendous’ waste of money.

However, a Southend News Network investigation can EXCLUSIVELY reveal that the snow plough attachments have been added so that the ambulances can force their way past vehicles that have been parked inconsiderately. Initial tests in a secret location have confirmed that one of these ambulances can successfully nudge a 4×4 vehicle – any resulting damage is legally the fault of the vehicle’s owner under current legislation.

The new ambulances will be welcomed by residents in the area who live close to schools that are subjected to a ‘parking nightmare’ on a regular basis. Maureen Sofa-Teachest, who lives in Macdonald Avenue close to Westborough School, said: ‘A few weeks ago, someone just abandoned a Fiat Punto in the middle of the road, and at the same time my neighbour called for an ambulance as he had broken his toe. The vehicle couldn’t reach his front door, and in the end he had to have both legs amputated. An ambulance with a snow plough could have just rolled the Punto over.’