A TOP level inquiry was launched this week after an injured teenage motorcyclist was left lying in the rain for 90 minutes because there was no ambulance to take him the two miles to hospital.

Jesse Cox, 16, suffered leg, neck and back injuries when his Yamaha bike was in collision with a Peugeot 407 at 11.44pm on Monday at the Tilehurst Road-Cranbury Road junction, west Reading, but with anxious bystanders providing umbrellas to give him shelter, it was 1.28am before an ambulance arrived - from Oxford.

Yesterday (Wednesday) Ngozi Fakeye, from South Central Ambulance Service (SCAS) said stressed crews were dealing with other Reading calls, including two other road crashes, and added: "We are sorry for the delay. All available resources were committed at other medical emergencies and we sent a crew once one became available."

A single paramedic arrived in a rapid response car soon after the police, but after easing Jesse onto a spinal board because of a suspected serious back injury, he could not move him without back-up from a double-manned ambulance.

Colin Howlett, 63, who lives in Tilehurst Road and loaned his umbrella, said: "We were flabbergasted. Motorcyclists are the most vulnerable people in accidents like that. It could have been a lot worse."

His wife Liz, 62, said: "Imagine if it was your child lying by the side of the road for 90 minutes. What on earth has happened to the ambulance service? It is absolutely beyond belief."

The former Highdown School pupil was discharged from the Royal Berkshire Hospital on Tuesday morning.