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Great East Run organisers reassure residents road closures will not stop emergency crews reaching patients

PUBLISHED: 06:00 15 September 2017 | UPDATED: 10:34 19 September 2017

Thousands of runners are expected to take part in the first ever Great East Run. Picture: MARK WITTER PHOTOGRAPHY

Thousands of runners are expected to take part in the first ever Great East Run. Picture: MARK WITTER PHOTOGRAPHY

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Emergency services and Great East Run organisers have moved to reassure residents that crews will be able to reach patients in the Ipswich area during the event despite a series of road closures.

The course map of the Great East Run Ipswich 2017. Pic: The Great Run Company.The course map of the Great East Run Ipswich 2017. Pic: The Great Run Company.

Several routes are expected to close – with almost the entire stretch from Shotley to Ipswich coned off for runners – from 6am onwards next Sunday.

Yellow road closure signs went up this week to warn drivers of affected routes earlier this week causing residents and businesses to raise concerns the town may come to a standstill.

One Ipswich resident said he is worried emergency service vehicles may find it difficult to reach patients because of the sheer number of roads due to close. He added: “I saw the signs today – so looked up the route.

“I can’t think of a better way to make sure Ipswich comes to a total standstill on that Sunday.

“Hope an ambulance doesn’t need to get to Shotley or some parts of Ipswich.”

Now organisers of the race and Suffolk police, Suffolk Fire and Rescue Service and the East of England Ambulance service are reassuring people living in the area that an action plan is already in place.

As with every major event to take place in the county, including the Tour of Britain which came to Suffolk last week, organisers meet with dedicated teams from each service to make sure they are not disrupted in any way.

Great East Run bosses said: “We’re working with all local emergency services and they are aware of the road closures and alternative routes.

“In the case of an emergency, as with all closed road events, runners will be asked to move aside to let vehicles through the road closures, so they will still have access should they need to attend an incident either along the route or in the vicinity.

Ambulance chiefs said they work closely with event organisers to ensure participants, spectators and patients in the community receive the quickest possible response.

A spokesman for the service said: “A lot of planning goes on behind the scenes with event organisers, the other emergency services and local authorities ahead of these types of events.”

A Suffolk Constabulary spokeswoman added: “We are aware of plans for the Great East Run this Sunday, all Safer Neighbourhood Teams in the town have been notified to ensure we respond appropriately to any incidents that take place during the run and the event has been assessed through the Safety Advisory Group.

“We thank all road users for their patience and understanding while the event is taking place in the town.”

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