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Inconsiderate parkers block emergency access

By Gloucestershire Echo  |  Posted: March 01, 2013

By LAURA CHURCHILL

  • inconsiderate: Gloucestershire Fire and Rescue Service's Tewkesbury slipway and, below, a picture of the slipway blocked by a car

  • Jon Hall

Comments (3)

INCONSIDERATE parkers could be putting lives at risk as emergency services struggle to negotiate some Gloucestershire streets.

The problem was highlighted by chief fire officer Jon Hall, who tweeted a picture of a van blocking the entrance to Tewkesbury slipway, which is used in emergencies.

The concrete ramp at The Hangings, which was handed over to Gloucestershire Fire and Rescue Service last year, helps the crews respond to water-based emergencies in the area quicker.

It helps save lives by reducing water rescue response times by up to 20 minutes.

Mr Hall tweeted a picture of the dark blue Citroen van blocking the slipway from his @GlosFireChief account. A sign is up to warn drivers of the problems parking there can cause.

He said: "Of course, a good mobilising system is useless if a helpful soul blocks access to the emergency slipway.

"This picture acts as an important reminder that if a sign says 'keep clear, emergency access' there are times when that is genuinely the case. We will be replacing the sign with a larger one and continuing to urge people to park responsibly."

Gloucestershire Constabulary and the South Western Ambulance Service echoed the statements and urged drivers to be more responsible.

A spokesman for Gloucestershire Police said: "Inconsiderate and double parking can stop traffic flowing freely and can risk a tragedy taking place if emergency vehicles are prevented from getting to a nearby property because their access has been blocked by irresponsibly parked cars."

John Oliver, spokesman for South Western Ambulance Service, said: "We are not aware of any ongoing parking problems that make it difficult for us to reach patients, but our crews do often have to get down narrow or busy routes when responding to emergencies. We would remind other road users to think about where they park, bearing in mind that emergencies can happen anywhere at anytime and getting rapid medical help to patients can be the difference between life and death."

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3 comments

  • SaintMichael  |  March 01 2013, 5:53PM

    if there were a genuine emergency, I'm sure the fire-eaters would be justified in smashing a window, releasing a handbrake, and shoving the offending vehicle out of the way

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  • Matt1006  |  March 01 2013, 12:00PM

    Agreed, if the existing signage is clear enough, tow the offending vehicle away ASAP, without warning. Can't tell from the photos above what the existing signage is like, and there don't appear to be any markings on the ground, so perhaps additional signage / road markings might make it clearer, but that does depend on the signage already there. Whilst towing away off private land is now banned, the police do still have powers to do it, if deemed necessary to remove the offending vehicle. This looks like a prime example when they should be doing so.

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  • geraint2010  |  March 01 2013, 11:38AM

    Why the problem? Make sure clearly visible warning signs are in situ then, when a police patrol spots an illegally parked vehicle, call to have it towed away and fine the owner heavily on collection.

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