Emergency services have hit out at motorists who 'tailgate,' warning that it could kill someone.

The criticism has been voiced by North West Ambulance Service, where bosses are urging people to think about their actions when emergency vehicles are passing.

In the past there have been many reports and close calls which could have resulted in a serious crash and police, fire and ambulance bosses are all in agreement it has to stop.

Among those with concerns about the issue Phil Waring, a driver training support officer for NWAS (North West Ambulance Service).

He said: "It happens a lot more than you would think, some are people just trying to beat traffic and some are relatives trying to follow the patient to hospital.

"In the case of patients we explain to the relatives not to try and keep up with us. Those trying to beat the traffic are a worry as people will give way for an emergency service vehicle and then continue, if a tailgater is there this could cause a crash.

"There have also been many time ambulance have had to break and they have been hit from behind.

"This could mean the loss of crew, the ambulance or even the patient they were caring for. With pedestrians, they could stop on a crossing and then be hit by the tailgater."

All three emergency services are pleading with motorist to think about their actions.

Sergeant Craig Hynes, from Cumbria Police's Mobile Support Unit, said: "This type of driving could put others at risk.

"It could cause a more serious or even fatal collision, it's an offence.

"We would always advised people to follow the rule of the road."

Craig Drinkald, from Cumbria Fire and Rescue Service, added: "The worry is, in an emergency situation, that crews are concentrating on what is in the front and if they have to stop suddenly the person behind will not have time to stop."