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An emergency bus is being made available on extra dates in Southampton city centre - to treat people who've had a few too many in the run-up to Christmas.
The ICE Bus (In Case of Emergency) is usually out in the city centre every Saturday from 10pm until 4am by the Cenotaph, between East Park and Watts Park. The service is run by Southampton City Council and South Central Ambulance Service NHS Trust, providing emergency medical services for people with often drink-related injuries and illnesses, as well as helping vulnerable people in the city centre late at night.
Over Christmas it will be available on a few extra dates – including the two weekends leading up to Christmas Day and New Year’s Eve.
One of the aims of the ICE Bus service is to treat people on the bus rather than them going to the emergency department, to ease the pressure on emergency services and to ensure the safety and wellbeing of visitors to the city centre during busy times.
Earlier this year the ICE Bus reached the major milestone of helping its 1,000 client since it launched in 2009, and has now dealt with 1180 clients since it’s launch in 2009.
Councillor Richard Williams, leader of Southampton City Council, said: “We want everyone who comes to Southampton this Christmas to have an enjoyable time and get home safely. The ICE Bus plays a big part in this, offering a reassuring presence in the city centre, which is particularly helpful at this time of year when more people are out making the most of Southampton’s night life.
“The Safe City Partnership is doing some really positive work and making a genuine difference in Southampton. Initiatives like the ICE Bus have eased the strain on the emergency services and have been central in helping vulnerable residents late at night in the city centre who were at risk because of alcohol.
“This is all part of a raft of initiatives Southampton City Council and its partners are involved in to reduce crime and help our residents feel safer, not just at Christmas but all year round.”