Poor Parking Blamed for 999 Nightmare

Exeter's emergency services are being stopped in their tracks by poorly parked cars.

Fire engines and ambulances have been trapped in narrow Victorian streets by cars parked on corners or outside houses where there just isn't enough room for wider vehicles to pass.

Devon & Somerset Fire & Rescue Service is now pleading with residents to be more considerate when parking outside their homes. 

It's worried that fire fighters may not be allowed to get close enough to a serious emergency.

Watch Manager Lee Blackburn, of Red Watch at Danes Castle, said: “We have noticed that an increasing number of homeowners want to park their vehicles directly outside their properties without considering that access may be required for fire appliances in an emergency.

“Some of the streets are narrow even without parked cars. Obviously, the size of our vehicle being what it is, we need slightly more room to manoeuvre than a car.”

Hotspots include areas where there are a number of Victorian terraced streets such as   St James, Newtown, Polsloe, Heavitree and St  Thomas.  fire engine, houses, parked cars, stuck

  The Service is asking people when parking their vehicle to:

  Park close to the kerb. 

  Leave enough space for a fire engine or an ambulance to pass

  Leave extra room near tight corners

  Fold in your wing mirror

  Watch Manager Blackburn added: “It is an on-going problem which occurs all over the Service area and there have been occasions when bad parking has delayed fire engines from reaching serious incidents.

“Every second counts when the emergency services are responding to an incident. When people are parking outside their home we would ask them to consider whether a fire engine or ambulance would be able to get to their house in an emergency?”