Ipswich drivers asked to leave space for fire crews
PUBLISHED: 19:30 16 September 2019
Don't risk your lives - or your homes - by blocking emergency vehicles that might need to get down your street.
That's the blunt message from Suffolk Fire Service and Ipswich Council after appliances faced serious struggles to get down some streets.
A fire appliance requires a gap of almost three metres (two car widths) to be able to get through and any delay could be fatal.
Now, councillors are urging residents to think hard before leaving cars where they could block access in an emergency.
Leaflets will be put on windscreens of cars in part of north east Ipswich in a pilot scheme aimed at reducing the problem - but the message applies across the town and could be extended if the campaign proves successful.
Fire service drivers urge car owners:
Don't park too close to corners, and park as close to the kerb as you can;
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If you're parking opposite someone, remember the needs of fire crews;
Park as close to the kerb as you can but not on pavements;
In narrow streets, only park on one side of the road where possible;
Look out for fire hydrant signs and try not to park over them.
Borough councillor Shelly Darwin is leading the campaign, with funding from the Make a Difference pot.
She said: "I often hear from residents concerned about inconsiderate parking. St John's Ward has many narrow streets where access for emergency vehicles can be an issue.
"I decided to do something proactive to raise awareness and contacted Suffolk Fire and Rescue Service. I am delighted and thankful that they have worked with me to make this campaign happen. A leaflet on a windscreen is a small step but I am hopeful that it will make people think about the impact that inconsiderate parking can have."
Jason Wilkins from Suffolk Fire and Rescue, said: "We welcome this campaign because inconsiderate parking can sometimes be a real problem for firefighters.
"We appreciate that people like to park as close to their property as possible, but all we ask is that people think twice before parking. Every second counts when we attend an incident - it is vital that emergency vehicles can get down streets quickly and safely."