CAMPAIGNERS against plans for a health shake-up have timed a rush-hour trip from Huddersfield to Halifax hospitals.
And it took them 31 minutes to make the five-mile journey in a car.
Liberal Democrat councillors Shahida Awan and Linda Wilkinson took on the rush-hour journey from Huddersfield Royal Infirmary to Calderdale Royal Hospital to discover what patients will face if proposals to move some services, including maternity, children's and planned surgery, get the go-ahead.
The pair left HRI at 8.30am yesterday as rush-hour traffic was mounting.
Clr Wilkinson said: "The traffic on Lindley, was quite bad and just getting out of the junction at the end wasn't easy.
"We got on to the bypass, but as soon as we got around the corner at Elland, both lanes of traffic were backed up.
"The lanes were completely blocked and the cars were just crawling."
It took them about 15 minutes to clear the by-pass.
Then came the queue of traffic going up Salterhebble, approaching the hospital.
Clr Wilkinson said: "The traffic was queuing in both lanes going up the hill.
"It was very slow."
They eventually arrived at the hospital at 9.01am - 31 minutes after leaving HRI.
Clr Wilkinson said: "I really think it is too long.
"In some parts the cars would not have been able to move out of the way if an ambulance was coming through.
"It is too risky."
She believed the journey time would be too long for women in labour to endure.
She added: "They would be bound to get worked up seeing all the traffic backed up."
Clr Awan agreed. She gave birth six weeks early by Caesarean section and spent five weeks afterwards visiting her son in hospital last year.
She said: "Even though it was only a short ride to HRI it was very uncomfortable.
"You feel every lump and bump in the road at a time when you are feeling unwell and very anxious.
"I cannot imagine how difficult this journey to Halifax is going to be for new mums, particularly if they have had difficult births or Caesarean sections.
"I'm sure it will make it much harder for mums to get well after the birth of their babies."