Poor parking ‘puts lives at risk’ as fire engines struggle in narrow streets
FIREFIGHTERS say inconsiderate parking is putting lives at risk across North Staffordshire.
Crews are struggling to access narrow streets in order to reach fires due to cars being parked on both sides.
Staffordshire Fire and Rescue Service has produced new postcards to raise the issue with drivers.
Fire crews will leave the postcards on the windscreens of any vehicles they come across that are parked inconsiderately.
The postcards bear the message: “Think before you park: The extra time taken to reach an incident can cost lives! It could be your property we are trying to reach.”
Station manager Dave Steele said: “The problems we often find are that emergency appliances cannot get down streets because of the way in which people have parked. This not only affects firefighters as they are driving around carrying out community safety work, crucially it means they could be delayed in reaching an emergency.
“We would ask that vehicle owners consider where and how they are parking so that an emergency vehicle can safely pass. A fire engine is approximately three metres wide and, to comfortably pass parked vehicles, a four-metre gap is required.”
Problem streets in Stoke-on-Trent include Rose Street, Northwood, Richmond Street, Penkhull, and Wood Terrace, Shelton, with streets in Abbey Hulton and Bentilee also a concern.
In Newcastle the problem areas are Crackley Bank, Chesterton, Church Lane and High Street in Wolstanton and Silverdale Road, Newcastle.
Fire engines are also struggling to get down Gaunt Street, Wood Street, Alma Street and Fountain Street in Leek.
St Anne’s Vale and surrounding roads in Brown Edge have also been flagged as a problem area due to the primary school and parents parking inconsiderately.
Mr Steele added: “We find the streets surrounding schools are frequent problem areas. All we ask is that you consider where you’re parking your vehicle.
“Don’t park on street corners and try to avoid parking parallel to another car. I’m sure if people took a second to think about it, they wouldn’t want to be the reason for delaying a fire engine in an emergency.”
Residents in Rose Street, Northwood, agreed that parking was an issue, but did not know how it could be resolved.
Catherine Boulton-Lear, aged 63, said: “A few years ago there was talk of starting a permit scheme here, but it never happened. I’ve never seen a fire engine come up this street, but then I don’t think there is enough room for one. It is a worry.”
Geoff Glover, aged 46, said: “It’s always been a busy street, with the hairdressers and people going to the chapel, and everyone in the street has their own car. I’ve come home at dinner time on some days and I haven’t been able to find a parking space."