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Blood Bikers fight for the right to use bus lanes

The local council has published a traffic notice inviting any objections

YOU’D THINK it would be common sense, but Blood Bikers in Oxfordshire are having to fight for the right to use the county’s bus lanes in order to speed up their lifesaving deliveries.

Managers of the charity SERV (Service by Emergency Rider Volunteers) Blood Bikes, which covers Oxfordshire, Berkshire, Buckinghamshire and Northamptonshire, have approached Oxfordshire County Council to demand access to bus lanes for its volunteers.

Access to the uncongested lanes would speed up their free-of-charge NHS deliveries of blood, plasma, vaccines and other urgent medical items. The charity normally has four riders and one driver on duty at all times, and each volunteer may cover more than 140 miles in each run.

In response, the council has published a traffic order notice, which states: “It is proposed to permit use of the Oxford area bus lanes to include marked Blood Bikes and other similarly marked vehicles for the urgent delivery of blood-related products for use in health care.

“The vehicles are equipped with blue lights for safety but not permitted to exceed speed limits.”

Any objections to the proposal are invited to be submitted to: Traffic Regulation Team for the Director for Infrastructure Operations at County Hall, New Road, Oxford, OX1 1ND, by Friday, February 22.

Blood Bikes have been delivering vital supplies to hospitals around the country since the 1960s, however have only recently been recognised as an emergency service and are yet to receive government funding. As such, the riders are liable for any traffic infractions that may occur on their deliveries. Recently, Blood Biker Ian Hopkins was dragged through court for speeding and unlawfully fitting a siren to his bike, before being found ‘not guilty’ by the District Judge at Exeter Magistrates Court.  

SERV OBN are founder members of The Nationwide Association of Blood Bikes and rely solely on donations from members of the public, corporate sponsorship and fund raising activities.

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