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Staffordshire Fire & Rescue Service - Preventing, Protecting, Responding

Double parking stops fire engine getting to an incident



Firefighters are urging motorists to park more considerately, after they struggled to get to an incident on Saturday afternoon (19 August) due to double parking.

"We managed to get to Whitaker Road and then couldn’t get any further due to vehicles being parked on both sides of the road." 

Longton Crew Manager Jac Vincent

Longton firefighters were sent to a house on Dorcas Drive, Blurton following an emergency call during which the occupiers had reported that they had just had a grill pan fire. The firefighters were sent to the incident at 5.11pm and arrived at 5.26pm.

The crew struggled to get to the property due to inconsiderate parking on a number of streets and firefighters ended up getting off the fire engine and had to go on foot.

Station Manager Neil Pedersen said: “Luckily the caller had already reported that they believed the fire was out, at the point they rang. However had this not been the case and we’d had a full kitchen fire on our hands the consequences could have been a lot more serious.

“We believe a lot of the inconsiderate parking was due to the Stoke City football match that was taking place that day. We understand that supporters want somewhere convenient and free to park, however this shouldn’t mean putting people’s lives at risk. Our fire engines need about three metres to safely travel down a road, so motorists need to consider this before they just park their car anywhere.”

Longton Crew Manager Jac Vincent’s account of what happened was as follows: “We managed to get to Whitaker Road and then couldn’t get any further due to vehicles being parked on both sides of the road. We attempted to knock on the surrounding properties to alert someone of the need to move a particular car but we were informed that it had been there for most of the day and was likely to belong to someone at the Stoke match.

“We managed to back out of that street and took a turn onto Bailey Road and made very slow progress due to cars being double parked. Eventually we came to another car which we could not pass. We were at that point about two streets away from the incident and too far to be able to tackle the fire if we had needed to.

“After a good few minutes we located the owner of this vehicle and managed to get him to move it. We continued on towards the incident travelling very slowly. Just before arriving at the street we could see that we weren’t going to be able to make it down the road so we decided to travel the rest of the way on foot.”

Councillor Dan Jellyman, Stoke-on-Trent City Council’s cabinet member for regeneration, transport and heritage, said: “The health and safety of all our residents is a key priority for us and we continue to work with our partners in the police and fire service to reduce issues like this.

“Dorcas Drive is part of a programme of improvements to parking controls in the area to make it safer and protect the rights of residents to park outside their homes.”

Firefighters left postcards saying ‘consider where you park’ on the offending vehicles and the issue was also reported to Staffordshire Police. Firefighters plan to return to the area in the future on a match day to see if the situation has improved.