BAD and inconsiderate parkers are putting lives at risk across Worcestershire, say the fire service.

They have issued a plea to drivers to make sure they don’t park thoughtlessly and dangerously delay a fire engine getting to an emergency call.

The service already have the problem of trying to weave their way through rush hour traffic for many of their calls.

In fact new figures show the most common time for car crash incidents is the morning and evening commuter rush.

So that last thing they need is not to be able to squeeze through between cars that have failed to leave enough space between them in crowded streets.

The simple message is that a fire engine is one and a half times the width of a car and so drivers need to gauge that when they decide if they have left enough space when they parked.

Hereford and Worcester Fire and Rescue Service attended almost 6,240 vehicle incidents of various types in the ten year period between 1 April 2010 and 31 March 2020.

More than half involved a car and 40% multiple vehicles, and nearly half of the incidents involved rescuing a trapped person.

Station Commander Steve Andrews of the HWFRS Community Risk Department said: “Every second can count when someone needs the help of the fire service.

“Bad or careless parking can delay fire engines and emergency vehicles from reaching serious incidents in your area – that could endanger your life and the lives of your families, friends and neighbours.

“The positioning of parked cars could just make the difference between the emergency services being able to save a life or not.”

So when parking, please:

• park close to the kerb

• park straight with wheels straight

• fold in wing mirrors

• in narrow streets only park on one side of the road (where possible)

• obey the Highway Code and road markings such as yellow lines and box junctions

• do not park too close to corners or traffic calming measures

• leave extra room at tight junctions

• remember every second counts when someone needs our help

• ask yourself: ‘Could I get through this space?’ If not a fire engine probably couldn’t either.