A 60-METRE crane blocked a cul-de-sac in Moredon for more than seven hours and cut off scores of pensioners from emergency services while a TV programme was filmed yesterday.

Cowboy Builders, a Channel 5 programme produced by Brighton firm Ricochet Ltd, is renovating a house in Windrush Road for Pat Hill, 66, a retired personal assistant, and Ken Hill, 70, a retired tool-making business owner who say they lost more than £140,000 to a builder who allegedly walked out on them in July of this year without finishing the project.

The programme-makers have banned from the couple from talking about the show.

Neighbours said they have had to endure more than 12 months of disruption and road blockages connected with the work.

Yesterday, the biggest of all the obstructions in the road, a 28-wheel crane which blocked the width of the tarmac, pulled into the cul-de-sac around 8am and remained until after 3.30pm, denying any road access to the properties south of the Newland Road junction.

The crane was required to lift a summer house over the Hills’ property and into their back garden, which was delivered to the site on the back of a lorry, already constructed.

Many of the properties at the southern tip of Windrush Road are bungalows occupied by those over 60, who have been known to require rapid emergency response from ambulance crews, according to neighbours.

Valerie Turner-Wright, 71, a retired retail manager living in the close, said: “I was concerned for my neighbours because we do regularly have ambulances up here for people because everyone is aged between 60 and 90.

“If we needed an ambulance or fire engine there was no chance of it getting through.

“I am amazed the council agreed to it because of what it’s doing to our road. These roads weren’t built for massive cranes.”

In a letter to residents dated November 19, Claire Egerton-Jones, a producer at Ricochet, said: “There will be access on foot throughout the time the crane is in position, and there is alternate access to the top of the road for emergency services if necessary.”

The alternative access is not a registered thoroughfare for vehicles and would not be suitable for even a motorcycle, according to Valerie.

Joyce Bishop, 86, a retired traffic warden living in Windrush Road, said: “There is no way paramedics could have got to a patient down that alleyway, not with an ambulance.

“If we’d had a fire a fire engine would have got nowhere near us.”

Marjorie Burge, 84, a retired seamstress in the road and friend of the Hills, said: “People complaining about the crane are quite selfish and envious.

“Can’t they put up with it just for one day?

“They, like everyone, had a nice letter informing them of what was happening.”

A spokesperson for Ricochet said: “We always take great care to be as undisruptive as possible with our builds.

“In the case of the crane we spoke to all the neighbours in advance and cleared it with the council.

“We thank everyone for their patience while the build has been going on.”

A Swindon Council spokesman said: “We gave the production company permission to temporarily close the road on the understanding that any vehicles causing an obstruction would be moved in the event of an emergency.

“This is standard practice for any works that require a road closure.”