A CYCLIST had to wait "more than two hours" for an ambulance to arrive and take him to hospital after being hit by a car.

The man, believed to be in his 50s, suffered facial injuries as well as leg and hip pain as a result of the crash in Tattersall Avenue, Johnson Fold.

North West Ambulance Service (NWAS) has apologised to the patient and his family for the wait they experienced on what was "a particularly busy" weekend.

A spokeswoman said that the force had 91 incidents that needed to be allocated across Greater Manchester when they received the 999 call at 2.48pm on Sunday.

Firefighters were first to arrive at the scene, opposite the row of shops in Moss Bank Way, with crews placing the man onto a spinal board.

Police also attended, and the driver of the car was allowed to leave the scene.

The Bolton News was told by an eyewitness that the injured cyclist was waiting for two hours and 15 minutes before a road ambulance, which had the facility to transport him to hospital, arrived at the scene.

NWAS said the man was treated for facial injuries, and leg and hip pain, and taken to Salford Royal Hospital by ambulance.

A spokeswoman for NWAS said: "We would like to send our best wishes to the patient and sincerely apologise for the wait they experienced.

“This weekend has been particularly busy for the ambulance service and at the time of the call, there were 200 emergencies waiting to be allocated across the trust, 91 of which were in Greater Manchester.

“Additional measures were in place to help manage the demand, however all of our ambulance crews were assisting with other emergencies and patients in an immediate life-threatening condition must be prioritised. The rise in activity means more patients are being taken to hospital and we then face the challenge of timely hand overs which can impact on our ability to get our clinicians back out into the community. We are working hard with our hospital colleagues across the region to improve this, with very positive results so far.

“We know that waiting for an ambulance is very distressing and we do always try to send the most appropriate response as quickly as possible.

“We would be happy to discuss this case in more detail with the patient or their family if they would like to contact our patient safety team.”