THE region’s ambulance service has been forced into a U-turn over plans to cut services across parts of Cumbria.

The North West Ambulance Service (NWAS) has announced it will not be removing an ambulance from Carlisle or a rapid response vehicle overnight from Penrith, after campaigners gathered 11,500 signatures from local people.

A representative from trade union Unison said the decision to reverse the cuts was made this week - just weeks after NWAS officials said they had to make £2.2m of savings during this financial year.

Mike Oliver, a paramedic and Unison convenor for the service, said: “I’m absolutely delighted. How can you deliver a quality ambulance service when you’re making cuts to the front line?”

Campaigners held a heated public meeting and thousands of people signed a petition, which was delivered to Downing Street.

Mr Oliver said the region’s clinical commissioning groups agreed to give £6m to NWAS so that cuts can be put on hold.