Belfast Telegraph

Friday 1 August 2014

Parked cars stop ambulance from reaching ill baby

06.10.10. Picture by David Fitzgerald. Leanne Traynor pictured with her blind daughter Megan as they cannot use the foot-path in their street due to parked cars
06.10.10. Picture by David Fitzgerald. Leanne Traynor pictured with her blind daughter Megan as they cannot use the foot-path in their street due to parked cars

A mother-of-three has accused careless motorists in south Belfast of putting young children’s lives in danger.

Leanne Traynor said her newborn daughter Lily had only been out of hospital for three weeks when she suddenly stopped breathing.

But when the ambulance responded, it couldn’t stop outside their home due to the number of badly-parked cars in the area.

Mrs Traynor also said that vehicles are regularly abandoned on the footpath, forcing wheelchair users — including her own daughter Megan — onto the road.

“I was absolutely terrified when Lily (who is now 12 weeks old) stopped breathing,” said the 27-year-old.

“I had to carry her in my arms to the end of the street after she had turned navy blue. It was very traumatic. We’ve asked the drivers of these cars not to park outside our houses, but they either ignore us, or tell us they’re not doing anything illegal.

“But we’re all worried a child will get run over or killed if no action is taken.”

Mrs Traynor said there has been an ongoing problem since she moved into the Lavinia Square property over a year ago with her partner Stuart (30).

It particularly affects Megan (6), a wheelchair user, who was born with a rare, congenital brain condition that left her blind.

Thanks to Belfast Telegraph readers, the couple raised £30,000 for revolutionary stem-cell injections in China two years ago, and now the little girl has regained some sight.

But Mrs Traynor said Megan — who has another sister Hannah (2) — has learning difficulties and severe autism, coupled with “no sense of danger”.

She added: “Cars come round the corner without taking the children into consideration.”

The volume of traffic in the area is exacerbated by ongoing work at an adjacent housing development which will not be finished until next October, according to a Clanmil Housing spokeswoman.

A police spokeswoman said responsibility for parking enforcement lies with Roads Service.

“We appeal to motorists to consider the needs of pedestrians and local householders when they park in residential areas,” she said.

And a Department for Regional Development spokeswoman said the site is still in the ownership of a developer and they have no enforcement powers for the road.

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