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Firefighter plea: ''Make sure we can get through''

Firefighter plea: ''Make sure we can get through''

Fire engine showing the width needed

29 July 2016

Tunbridge Wells firefighters have raised concerns about access issues, following several calls where poor parking in residential streets caused delays in getting their fire engine to incidents.

Only last week, crews struggled getting to an emergency call in Brookfield Court and were forced to reverse out on to the main road, causing a delay in reaching the property. On the same day, double-parked cars and vehicles parked too close to junction in Springfield Road, Southborough brought the fire engine to a standstill while responding on blue lights to an incident in Springfield Road in Southborough.

Fortunately, both of these call turned out to be false alarms, however crews are worried that it is only a matter of time before lives are put at risk because they can’t get through.

Tunbridge Wells crew manager Keith Ward said: “The main problems we are finding are in the narrower residential side streets where we are encountering vehicles that are parked on junctions, making it impossible for our fire appliance to turn, as well as vehicles that are double parked making the road too narrow for a fire engine to pass.

“We understand that parking can be tight and that people like to park as close as possible to their homes, but blocked roads are causing serious issues and it is worrying because as we know that every second counts when we attend emergency calls.

He added: “We are pleading with residents to have more consideration and to think more carefully when they are parking about whether a fire engine, or any other emergency vehicle could get through. Remember, we could be on our way to a life-threatening incident -we might even be trying to reach you - and any delay caused by poor parking could have devastating consequences.”

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