“Sort it out CCG, ‘cause we’re not getting the 503.”

Those were the chants of enraged protesters outside the Briar Court Hotel in Huddersfield, as crucial talks were held inside over the future of Huddersfield’s A&E department.

The chant referred to the 503 bus from Huddersfield to Halifax, which may be used more often if plans for the closure go ahead.

Health officials from the Clinical Commissioning Groups plan to move A & E services from Huddersfield Royal Infirmary to Calderdale Royal Hospital as part of a huge reshuffle.

The proposals would also see a new hospital built on the Acre Mills site in Lindley, to replace the existing Infirmary. Financial pressures on the Calderdale hospital are blamed for the moves.

More than 100 people gathered outside the hotel at lunchtime to make their voices heard as the meeting went on inside..

Nearly half of those were students, who held bright pink placards and a banner saying: “Hands off our HRI”.

Chants of “Save our A&E” were met with countless vehicles beeping their horns and wielding thumbs-up to show their support, as drivers made their way up the busy Halifax Road.

Sign the petition to prevent the closure of Huddersfield A&E here

Video thumbnail, Huddersfield SU protest at A&E meeting 2
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Meanwhile, the 5°C temperatures failed to dampen spirits, with some staying for up to three hours.

Olivia Townsend, from Golcar, was at the protest after the department saved her life at a crucial moment.

Olivia, who attended along with sister Emma, said: “I’m allergic to latex and had to be rushed to A&E after a trip to the orthodontist.

Video thumbnail, Olivia Townsend, Golcar, says she wouldn't be here if it weren't for the A&E at HRI
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“My throat had closed and once I got to hospital I was put under a heart monitor.

“Thankfully they managed to save me in time. It’s scary to think if I’d had to go to Calderdale I might not be here now.”

Olivia added: “I think it needs to be made clear that just because you live in Halifax doesn’t mean you won’t be affected.

“Everyone will be waiting much longer if more people need to use the service.”

READ MORE: Recap: Huddersfield A&E closure plan — Health chiefs vote for public consultation

Derrie O’Sullivan, who teaches architecture at the University of Huddersfield, said: “I am a beekeeper and don’t carry an epi-pen which could be a hazard; I might need to be rushed to A&E at any moment.”

Derrie, who lives near the hospital in Edgerton, said it would be “sickening” to think he would have to travel to Halifax when the hospital is so near.

Video thumbnail, A&E protest song 'Hey Baby' tune
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He added: “I have often had to rush students to A&E if they injure themselves.”

Community mental health nurse Florence Battye said: “The town is growing with more students than ever.

“It’s a farce that we might not have these services.

“Why should Huddersfield sacrifice its A&E just to sort out financial issues that aren’t its fault?”

Student Union President Michael McGougan said he was thrilled to see students getting involved in local issues.

“We are just as much part of the community here as long term residents”, he said.

Students at the protest stayed for nearly three hours, with many local residents commenting on their energy.