CAMPAIGNERS battling for the return of Chorley A&E Department full-time will be celebrating a milestone this weekend.

It is three years and 156 weeks since they first stood on Euxton Lane to protest against plans by hospital chiefs to close the Accident and Emergency Department and replace it with an Urgent Care Centre.

They were able to celebrate a partial victory in October 2016, when the department re-opened during the day and the Urgent Care Centre during nights.

Jenny Hurley, from the Protect Chorley and South Ribble Hospital from Cuts and Privatisation group, said: “The fact that we’re still going three years down the line shows how much the folk of Chorley and South Ribble mean to keep their Emergency services and stop the closure of the A&E.

“With the threat of the Our Health Our Care consultation last autumn, to be scheduled for this spring, it’s more important now than ever to stand against the closure.

“We have the Rivington Barn Bikers coming down to support us because they say they know the importance the time travelling to an A&E can be in the case of an accident. It’s literally life and death.

“Why should Chorley and South Ribble suffer from a post code lottery of closures and have their lives put at risk while other areas become inundated with longer waits due to the knock on effect a closure such as this makes? We’ve had huge support from the whole community with halls giving us space for meetings and events free of charge where they can.

“Donating vouchers for tombola prizes, collecting and delivering prizes, birthday presents money donated to the campaign, help with parking, providing hot pot, the list goes on and on and we’re truly grateful and humbled by the generosity of the whole community support.

“I’d especially like to mention the volunteers who run the market stall, attend meetings and report back, help with leafleting, support other NHS campaigns across the country, run the social media contacts on Facebook and Twitter.”

Bikers will be riding past the hospital on Preston Road at 10.15am and there will be events in the town centre at the yellow campaign gazebo on Fazakerley Street from noon to 2pm.