Dangerous parking is putting lives at risk say 999 emergency crews

Emergency services have warned lives are being put at risk by bad parking after fire crews struggled to reach a blaze in the city.

Saturday, 12th August 2017, 6:00 pm
Updated Tuesday, 12th September 2017, 12:04 pm
Fire engines struggle to pass parked cars in narrow streets

The warning came following the car fire in Hankey Street in the early hours of Thursday morning.

Cambridgeshire Fire and Rescue Service said the engines had to park a distance from the fire on a dual carriageway - putting crews in danger.

Now ambulance crews and police have backed up the warnings from the fire crews and urged residents to think about where they park to help keep residents safe.

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A spokesman for Cambridgeshire Fire and Rescue Service said: “Motorists are urged to take care when parking their vehicles so they do not prevent our fire engines from attending potentially life-threatening emergencies.

“A crew from Dogsthorpe was called to a car on fire on Hankey Street early on Thursday morning. Due to vehicles parked inconsiderately around the area, the crew had to park at the Bourges Boulevard end of the street and fight the fire.

“With this being a dual carriageway, this presented significant safety challenges for the firefighters.

“This is a growing problem due to a number of factors, such as thoughtless parking by some motorists, which can be compounded at night.

“Inconsiderate parking is a continuing issue that we work with the various enforcing authorities on.

“The problem is not just in Peterborough, but in many places across the county. Wisbech in particular is an area where our crews have worked with the police in the town to highlight the problem and speak with residents there. In some cases the police issued fines.”

The spokesman said problem areas in the city included narrow Gladstone Street and Cromwell Road, where the nine foot wide engines struggled to negotiate the streets and get to fires.

A spokesman for the East of England Ambulance Service NHS Trust said badly parked cars could cost paramedics crucial seconds.

He said: “We always appreciate motorists giving the best access possible to our vehicles because every minute counts in an emergency and we would ask the public to park with consideration.

“Considerate parking includes thinking about blind spots for on-coming vehicles, ensuring an ambulance is able to travel through the road without problems, and helping crews park very close to the address we’re called to.”

A spokesman for Cambridgeshire police said: “Emergency services provide an essential service for the public to keep people safe from harm, therefore it is essential for emergency vehicles to be able to get to their destination without obstruction, as every minute counts.

“We would like to remind motorists of the importance of considerate parking and to ensure there is always enough room to allow larger emergency vehicles such as fire engines and ambulances to pass.”

The fire in Hankey Street was started at about 1am by arsonists. Crews spent an hour at the scene before the flames were brought under control.

Anyone with information about the arson attack should contact Cambridgeshire police on 101, or Crimestoppers, anonymously, on 0800 555 111.