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."