Firefighters call for action on Hunts inconsiderate parkers

MOTORISTS who park inconsiderately in streets close to the centre of Huntingdon, causing obstructions for firefighters, could soon have to find someone else to park or face a fine. The cars are causing serious problems for fire engines, which often get bl

MOTORISTS who park inconsiderately in streets close to the centre of Huntingdon, causing obstructions for firefighters, could soon have to find someone else to park or face a fine.

The cars are causing serious problems for fire engines, which often get blocked between vehicles when attending 999 calls, the fire service said yesterday (Tuesday).

The Avenue, Priory Road and Cowper Road are of particular concern and firefighters are getting increasingly frustrated by the delays caused by "irresponsible" parkers.

Dave Richardson, Huntingdonshire fire service district manager, said: "Motorists who park inconsiderately can cause a significant delay in responding to emergencies.

"In a situation such as a house fire where someone is trapped this really can mean the difference between life and death."

He said the main offenders were the workers in the town who clog up the streets to avoid paying parking charges at the car parks.

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"The roads are almost impassable during weekdays from 9am to 5pm when both sides are lined with cars.

"It is frustrating and disappointing that people do not have the foresight to see the problems their inconsiderate parking is causing just so they can save some money," said Mr Richardson.

"When attending 999 calls to the north of Huntingdon, crews have regularly encountered access problems with parking along these roads, which have inevitably slowed down their response times."

In one incident firefighters had to abandon their fire engine and travel on foot to a 999 call after their fire engine was unable to pass parked cars.

In a bid to stamp-out the problem firefighters leave leaflets on the windscreens of cars parked inconsiderately and are urging people to report the culprits' registration details to police.

Mr Richardson said in some incidents crews have to take longer routes to a 999 call to avoid certain streets. The situation is causing such frustration that the fire service is calling on the highways authority to put yellow lines along the worst roads.

"People need to be more respectful of their parking and be more considerate of bigger vehicles. Inconsiderate parking could cost lives.

"We have considered residents and do not want to restrict their parking but we do not see any other way forward. We need to be able to get through.

"All we are asking is for people to park more responsibly."

Cambridgeshire County Council's highways authority department said parking restrictions are due to be put in place on the corners of the roads this week or next week.

A spokesman for the council said: "We have listened to the concerns of the fire service and want to make these roads safer."

INFORMATION: Should more be done to keep these roads clear for fire engines and if so what do you suggest? Send your views to: editor@huntspost.co.uk or write to The Hunts Post, 30 High Street, Huntingdon, PE29 3TB.

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