MORE than 500 shoppers stopped in Southend High Street to sign the Echo’s petition against the moving of blood test services.

A stall was erected under the railway bridge by campaign group Southend Against the Cuts to try and get as many signatures as possible.

Such was the interest in signing the petition that they soon run out of paper and had to send someone to get some more petitions photocopied.

The group is now planning to put out the stall on future weekends to galvanise support.

Tim Sneller, chairman of Southend Against The Cuts, said: ”A lot of people know about it and have signed and done it online, but seeing someone in the High Street attracts people and they stop. We literally had a queue of people.”

Our campaign is calling for GP requested blood testing to be kept local amid plans that it will be moved 90 miles away to Bedford Hospital.

So far we have 5,200 online supporters backing the campaign and more than 4,000 paper petitions.

Mr Sneller said they were planning to take the petition to students outside South Essex College today to get even more support.