CREWS have had a large say in the design of new ambulances to be used in the North.

The Tees East and North Yorkshire Ambulance Service has taken delivery of the first three of a consignment of 3,000cc Mercedes ambulances.

They will work out of Middlesbrough, Stockton and Hartlepool stations.

Trials are still being carried out, but the vehicles are being welcomed by those who will use them.

The vehicles are faster, have air conditioning, more storage and are more comfortable.

Emergency medical technician Harry Brown, who test drove one of them, said: "I think it is great. It is the best vehicle we have ever had. It handles well and will be much more comfortable for our patients, and it can really shift when it needs to.

"The storage space for all our kit has been well thought-out, and everything is easily to hand.

"Our Vehicle Working Group had a big say in its design, and they have done an excellent job. The prototype, which was on trial for two months, went back to the manufacturers for further fine-tuning and modifications following recommendations from crews."