Fire service issues safe parking message

Safer Parking message from Bedfordshire Fire and Rescue
Safer Parking message from Bedfordshire Fire and Rescue

Bedfordshire Fire and Rescue is reminding drivers to think about where they park after fire engines struggled to get past cars to attend an incident in Dunstable on Friday night.

Crews were called to a small cooker fire at a property in Princes Street at 8.23pm on Friday, April 14.

The fire was out by the time the officers arrived.

The fire engines were delayed because of cars parked badly on opposite sides of the road down three streets.

Watch Commander Martin Smith who attended the incident, said: “Our fire engines struggled to get past the cars which were effectively blocking access on Albion St, Victoria St and Princes St by parking badly on opposite sides of the road.

“Our experienced drivers had to edge their way forward painfully slowly to get through these blocked streets and the vehicles parked on both sides of these narrow roads caused a significant delay in our appliances arriving at the fire.

“If it hadn’t luckily been out on arrival this delay could have been much more serious.

“I would urge drivers to think very carefully about how they park.

“Fire engines need at least 3m or 10ft clearance to get down a road.

“When attending a fire, every second is precious so please don’t block our streets, it could be your home we’re on the way to next time.”

A man who lives on Princes Street expressed his concern about the incident on Don’t Let Dunstable Die’s Facebook page.

He wrote: “I live in 
Princes Street and am absolutely appalled.

“There are currently two fire engines attending a house near West Parade and it has taken them nearly half an hour to get from Dunstable fire station to here.

“I have spoken to an extremely angry fire officer who has said that the delay has been caused purely by the dreadful parking around Victoria Street, Albion Street and Princes Street.

“I don’t know what the emergency is this evening but I sincerely hope lives haven’t been put at risk because of a total lack of common sense from people.”