'Every second counts' - Firefighters' plea after bad parking delays crews

A fire engine struggled to access a training exercise in Norfolk due to badly parked vehicles.
Fire crews in Norfolk struggled to pass vehicles parked in narrow lanes. Credit: Norfolk Fire and Rescue Service

Firefighters have pleaded with people to "think before you park" after crews struggled to get to a pub fire in Great Yarmouth.

Three crews were sent to the blaze at The Lord Nelson pub just after 3am today (June 29).

But they couldn't access the pub from either end of Trafalgar Road West due to badly-parked vehicles, including some left on double yellow lines on corners.

Firefighters were forced to find another route to the property, which added at least two minutes onto their response time.

Norfolk Fire & Rescue Service’s Eastern Group Manager Clive Wells said: "Thankfully, in this instance, the family in the pub had got out and police had started using fire extinguishers to help.

“We could not get into Trafalgar Road West from either end. If we hadn’t been able to access the pub from another way, we would have had to run hose reels a considerable length from the end of the road.

"Bad parking adds to our response times and we would urge people to consider whether emergency vehicles could pass before leaving their car and not to park on double yellow lines.”

The fire was extinguished just after 4am and nobody was injured.

The warning follows another incident earlier this month where crews had difficulty accessing Horstead Mill for a training exercise, due to vehicles parked in narrow lanes.

Cllr Margaret Dewsbury, Cabinet Member for Communities and Partnerships at Norfolk County Council, said: “Inconsiderate parking could cost lives and access for our emergency services needs to be available at all times.

"With more people working from home, there are more cars parked on residential streets throughout the day and night at present but people need to stop and think before leaving their vehicle.”