Problem parking puts YOUR life at risk

PUBLISHED: 10:22 13 March 2006 | UPDATED: 08:58 24 May 2010

LIVES could be put at risk because drivers are parking badly in Weston streets. Firefighters are struggling to get a fire engine through many of the town's clogged up streets and are delayed getting to incidents

LIVES could be put at risk because drivers are parking badly in Weston streets.

Firefighters are struggling to get a fire engine through many of the town's clogged up streets and are delayed getting to incidents.

Avon Fire and Rescue Service has produced a leaflet highlighting the problem.

Firefighters are going to start placing the leaflets on vehicles in their way in the hope drivers will think twice before parking 'inconsiderately' again.In a recent incident, a fire engine was stopped from getting to a fire in a flat in Victoria Park.

The firefighters had to leave the engine at the bottom of the road and use extra long hoses to tackle the flames.

This week chief reporter Clare Hayes was taken on a tour of the most difficult streets to negotiate.

The pictures show how often a fire engine can run into trouble during an emergency call-out.

Weston firefighter Mike Cooper said: "All it needs is one car to be parked inconsiderately and we can be delayed getting on with our job of saving lives.

"If we can squeeze the engine through it often leaves no room either side to get the doors open so we can get out and no space to open the locker doors to get the equipment out.

"The worst time of day is in the evenings when everyone is at home.

"Weston Village and Locking Castle are key problem areas because each property only has one car parking space and each household usually has at least two cars.

"Areas around schools are always bad as well."

In cases when the fire engine cannot get through the firefighters have to either move vehicles out of the way using jacks that fit on to the wheels, carry large amounts of equipment on foot or find an alternative, and often longer, route to the job.

Firefighter Cooper added: "The issue is it all takes time, which is not what we have plenty of when trying to get to a fire.We need people to think before they park.

Next time we get stuck it could be you, your family, friends, neighbours or colleagues we are unable to get to."

Top 10 town trouble hotspots:

Baker Street

Hopkins Street

Victoria Park

Royal Crescent

Trewartha Park

Ewart Road

Park Place

Longridge Way

Orchard Place

South Terrace

Facts and advice:

Fire engines are about twice as wide as cars and need more space to get through.Leaving wheels straight when parking can save vital inches.

Don't park on corners because fire engines need more space to turn than cars.If space is limited tuck wing mirrors in.

Park tidily so the rear of the vehicle is not sticking out.

Most Read

Latest from the Weston Mercury

Hot Jobs

Show Job Lists