Sussex

Fire chief renews plea for more considerate parking

A Sussex fire chief says motorists do not appear to be heeding pleas not to block key routes with their cars.

Richard Davey, deputy district commander for Crawley, says some roads are still virtually impassable for fire engines attending emergencies.

Crews were delayed in reaching a house fire last month because of obstructions in the narrow Cherry Lane.

A woman had to jump from her blazing house in Langley Green before crews arrived, prompting the plea to drivers.

Fire officers returned to the area on Tuesday evening to gauge the latest situation and found the route "fairly clear".

'Jeopardise lives'

But Mr Davey said he had received photographs taken by someone living in the area only two days earlier showing a taxi struggling to negotiate the narrow gap between cars.

Mr Davey said: "There certainly wouldn't have been room to get a fire engine through."

Fire officers claim that delays in reaching an emergency could jeopardise lives and property.

They say problems are sometimes exacerbated by difficulty accessing equipment on their engines because of tightly-packed roads.

Police, fire and council officials have distributed leaflets and put up posters in the area, and police have warned that vehicles causing an obstruction could be towed away.

Mr Davey said the brigade was working to "find other strategies to make a difference".

He urged drivers consider when they leave their vehicles whether there would be enough room for a fire engine to get through.

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