Patient with a life-threatening condition sues over bike lanes

Patient with a life-threatening condition sues over bike lanes near a hospital that could be ‘matter of life and death’ if narrower road causes congestion

  • Amit Shah has said that the move could be a ‘matter of life and death’ for him 
  • Removal of parking spaces means he can’t rely on a friend to rush him to hospital
  • Amit, 38, suffers from anaphylaxis, a condition that can trigger allergic reactions

A man who suffers from a life-threatening condition has launched legal action over plans to install cycle lanes on the route he takes for emergency hospital visits.

Amit Shah says the move could be a ‘matter of life and death’ for him if the road becomes clogged with traffic after it is narrowed.

He also says the removal of parking spaces as part of the scheme will mean he can no longer rely on a friend to rush him to hospital and will instead have to use an ambulance, at extra cost to the NHS.

The 38-year-old suffers from anaphylaxis, a condition that can trigger severe allergic reactions requiring immediate treatment.

A man who suffers from a life-threatening condition has launched legal action over plans to install cycle lanes on the route he takes for emergency hospital visits

He said: ‘You have a limited time to get to the hospital, otherwise your body starts to shut down. Your throat starts closing up, you need oxygen and steroids immediately. It is a matter of life and death when you have one of these reactions.’

Mr Shah, who can suffer such episodes up to six times a year, usually has a friend on standby to rush him to the Royal Free Hospital in Hampstead, North London, faster than an ambulance could.

However, he fears that will no longer be viable if Camden Council introduces cycle lanes on Haverstock Hill, an A-road leading up to hospital, and will instead become reliant on the emergency services.

‘I really don’t want to cost the NHS money and I don’t want to be putting my life in danger,’ he said. ‘But that will be the impact of these cycle lanes.

‘What has struck me most is that friends who are cyclists themselves think this is an absolutely bonkers scheme, but there’s no getting through to the council.’

He has instructed lawyers to challenge the decision, arguing that Camden Council failed to properly consult local residents.

A survey of 1,300 people by the local Conservative party found 81 per cent were against the plans. A total of 95 per cent of businesses also said the move would be the ‘final nail in the coffin’ for trade. Despite that, council chiefs are pressing ahead. Oliver Cooper, leader of the Tory opposition on Camden Council, said: ‘This isn’t a pro-cycling policy – it’s an anti-resident, anti-business policy.’

The scheme, which is expected to cost up to £600,000 and involve the removal of almost 100 parking spaces, is set to start in January for a trial period of 18 months.

Transport Secretary Grant Shapps last month told councils they had to hold proper consultations before installing cycle lanes, but Camden said it made its decision before Mr Shapps’s announcement.

Last night, the council confirmed it had received a solicitor’s letter about their scheme and said: ‘We are taking legal advice on the letter and will be responding to it in due course.’

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