A MOTHER in labour endured a "nightmare journey" to give birth to her son.
Lucy McKinley and husband Gerry were stuck in traffic throughout their 45 minute trip from Milnsbridge to Calderdale Royal Hospital.
The journey from their home to the Halifax hospital is 7.9 miles and should take around 15 minutes.
Mrs McKinley was forced to go without pain relief before the birth of their son James, who spent a week in the special care baby unit.
The couple are now advising parents-to-be to use an ambulance – saying it is the only speedy way to get to the hospital.
Gerry McKinley, a teacher at Nortonthorpe Hall School, Scissett, said: "Lucy was a week or two overdue when she went into labour last Sunday.
"The midwives came round and while she was meant to have a home birth in a birthing pool we were told she should go to hospital and to call an ambulance.
"I remember thinking I could be half way there before an ambulance got to us – how wrong was I?
"I never thought about the Elland bypass.
"The traffic was horrendous and there were jams half the way there. I had to drive half on the pavements.
"All the time Lucy was in agony."
Mrs McKinley, a supply teacher, went into labour on Sunday March 1, shortly before midday.
Their son James was born that day, but needed to stay at the hospital’s special baby care unit as he has had respiratory problems.
Mr McKinley added: "It just seems to be such a bad decision to have made considering there is a hospital here in Huddersfield."
Little James and Mrs McKilney were allowed home last weekend where their daughter Grace, almost two, welcomed home her baby brother.
Mr McKilney added: "Did they [hospital bosses] decide to move the consultants for a financial decision or in the best interests of the patients?
"I can’t see how anyone can see this is the best for patients at all.
"I would advise all parents to get an ambulance, because once you’re stuck on that road you’re not moving anywhere.
"I have nothing but praise for the staff at Halifax, they were great to us and I thank them for all they did, but they are in the wrong place.
"To the people who still campaign for full maternity services in Huddersfield – keep up the good work and keep fighting."