AN ambulance took more than two hours to come to the aid of a man who collapsed in Bolton town centre.

He was found by security guard, Bill Halliwell lying in a ginnel off Coronation Street, at about 5pm.

The man, believed to be aged 20, was complaining of pain to his leg and waist and appeared to be struggling to maintain consciousness.

He had managed to call 999 at about 4.55pm, and Mr Halliwell took over the call at 5pm. But despite assurances an ambulance was on its way, it did not appear until 7.15pm — two hours and 20 minutes after the initial call.

Mr Halliwell said he was shocked by the delay.

He said: “It needs highlighting because, if he had gone into any kind of meltdown, what would I have done? If they had more pressing circumstances I understand that, but two hours and 20 minutes?”

Mr Halliwell and helpers covered the stricken man — who said he had been hit by a van in the Derby Street area — with five spare coats from the town hall and foil to keep him warm.

Mr Halliwell, who alerted The Bolton News to the situation, said : “We had to keep shaking him to keep him conscious, it was unacceptable.

“If it had been an old lady or someone like that they could have gone into meltdown, it’s not worth thinking about.”

Police confirmed the man was later discharged from hospital with minor injuries. Officers did not attend the scene but have since contacted him. 

North West Ambulance Service (NWAS) confirmed an ambulance was called at 4.52pm to reports of a man injured in a road traffic collision and arrived at 7.14pm where he was treated for leg injuries.

The call was categorised as ‘urgent’ , which means ambulance crew should arrive on average between 18 and 40 minutes after it being made.

A spokesperson for NWAS said: “We aim to get there quicker than what we did.

“It was extremely busy at the time and there were no resources available to get there.”