PETITION: Firefighters in 'considerate' parking plea to residents
RESIDENTS have been asked to show more consideration when parking their cars — or risk firefighters taking longer to reach them.
The call for residents not to park just anywhere follows an incident where a Torquay fire engine took longer than it should have to reach the scene of a car on fire.
Wal Pollitt (pictured), crew manager with green watch at Torquay fire station, which dealt with an incident in Alpine Road, said: "We had a problem getting there because of cars parked on both sides of the road.
"All we're asking for is more considerate parking from residents or it will take us longer to get to the scene."
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Fellow crew manager Chris Boston, with Torquay's red watch, added: "It wasn't a one-off incident. There are certain areas of the Bay where we have issues with parked cars.
"It is mainly in the evenings after people have come home from work.
"Parking is at a premium in the Bay so you can't blame residents, but we are asking them to be mindful to leave some space for fire engines to get past."
Crew manager Boston said certain roads in the Ellacombe and St Marychurch areas were particularly tight.
Grenville Avenue, Havelock Road, First and Second Avenues, Church Road and Western Road in St Marychurch have proved problematic in the past.
He added: "What would happen if we took a lot longer to get to a property because we can't fit a fire engine through a street?
"We're just asking residents to be mindful."
The parking access issue is also a problem in Paignton and Brixham where some streets are narrow or made tighter by cars parked on either or both sides.
Nick Banks-Fey, crew manager in Paignton, said the area of St Michael's and off Colley End Road had been problematic at times.
He said: "The problem is there is no alternative. What can people do? We have been lucky so far, but there was an incident last year in Clifton Gardens where we couldn't get to the top of the road because it was too narrow with the cars parked in the street. "It took longer to deal with the incident.
"I do feel for residents but it does make a difference if residents are mindful of leaving some space for fire engines."