A BIZARRE twist of the postal system means residents of one street are forced to endure a nightmare where duplicate addresses bring a new drama each day.
The appropriately named Long Lane stretches from Ickenham into Hillingdon and has 100 even and 131 odd numbered houses - numbers which are duplicated at each end of the road.
But because Long Lane seems to be absent from many databases, a catalogue of errors has arisen and residents fear what began as a joke may one day turn more sinister.
Anne Tuitt, who lives at the Hillingdon end of Long Lane, has a seriously ill husband and is worried that he could be left waiting hours for an ambulance.
She said: "Only a week ago, a nurse was 90 minutes late for an appointment because she was looking for a house at the wrong end of the road. It is lucky it was just for a check up."
Other blunders include:
A car delivered to the wrong house and its keys put through the wrong letterbox.
Asphalt laid down in front of the wrong drive
A family returning from holiday to find scaffolding wrongly put up outside their house.
Residents forced to extinguish a fire themselves after the fire brigade sent a team from outside the borough which could not find the address.
A patient returned from hospital to the wrong house.
Funeral flowers delivered to a house where no-one had died.
June Reyner, of Ickenham Residents' Association, is campaigning for Ickenham to be reinstated in addresses, to make it clear which end of the road is which. She said: "It is a long bureaucratic process but we are getting there.
"The problem is that the [Royal Mail] departments have moved offices regularly and every time that happens we have to start again.
"But we are getting there now; we have an approval for change, and they are in the next stages of the assessment."
More than 50 per cent of residents will be required to give their backing for the change.
Councillor Pat Jackson, (Con, Hillingdon East), said: "You could make a sitcom out of this story but it's the life and death situation that concerns me most."