MOTORISTS are being reminded to park considerately if visiting popular county beauty spots this weekend and not cause any obstruction.
With good weather forecast through the weekend, some locations could be busier than usual.
It is vital that people comply with parking restrictions which allow the free flow of traffic, especially when emergency service vehicles may need to access these locations. Vehicles parked illegally could receive a penalty charge notice.
Staffordshire Fire and Rescue Service is also urging motorists to be considerate after struggling to reach a blaze for the second time in 24 hours due to parked cars.
Crews from Cannock were called to Chasewater country park at 14.50 BST on Thursday 28 May to reports of a grass fire near the sailing club off Pool Lane. Firefighters were delayed as they had to make their way on foot and used a council ranger vehicle to move equipment due to the high volume of parked cars.
Fortunately, firefighters were able to extinguish the blaze using a main jet before it spread any further.
It came less than a day after a similar incident saw them unable to tackle a fire at the same country park for more than 20 minutes on Wednesday (27 May) evening due to cars blocking their access route on Pool Lane.
Deputy Chief Fire Officer, Rob Barber said: “We understand that people will want to get out and enjoy Staffordshire’s beautiful scenery over the weekend. However, it is important they do so responsibly.
“Before you set off please check that car parks are open, or ensure that you can park in a safe and considerate way that allows access for fire appliances and other emergency vehicles. If you can’t guarantee this then please think twice about your visit and return at a different time.
“Fire engines are approximately 2.6 meters wide. Therefore, if you’re parking your vehicle and don’t think that a van could get through the space – it is extremely unlikely that a fire engine will – so please keep this in mind, especially on narrow country lanes.
“Inconsiderate parking causes us unnecessary delays, and lost minutes really can mean the difference between life and death when we are responding to a serious incident. It is an issue that every single road-user can help to avoid by allowing enough room for us to pass.”
Inconsiderate parking causes us unnecessary delays & lost minutes can mean the difference between life and death when we are responding to an incident.
It’s an issue that every road-user can help to avoid by allowing enough room for us to pass.
More⬇️ https://t.co/IiZsDGlCbk pic.twitter.com/D6EgLnamnO
— Staffordshire Fire and Rescue Service (@StaffsFire) May 29, 2020
Visitors are also being asked to keep dogs on leads to help observe social distancing rules and not to have barbecues, light fires, or dispose of cigarettes carelessly as there remains a strong risk to people, property and wildlife from fire.
Staffordshire County Council’s cabinet member for highways and transport Helen Fisher said: “We’re expecting more people to visit locations like Chasewater and The Roaches this weekend because of the fine weather and so we’re appealing for everyone to park safely and legally.
“It is essential that emergency vehicles can access these locations at all times and are not obstructed by carelessly parked vehicles.
“We hope everyone has a safe and enjoyable weekend.”
Top tips when parking:
- Pull in your wing mirrors
- Don’t park too close to corners, fire engines are larger than cars and need more room to turn
- If you’re parking opposite someone, remember that a fire engine needs around 3m, or two car widths, to pass safely
- Make sure your wheels are straight and not sticking out
- Park as close to the kerb as you can
- Always follow the Highway Code and obey the road markings such as yellow lines and box junctions
- In narrow streets or country lanes, only park on one side of the road where possible
- Make sure you leave enough space for pedestrians on the pavement
- Don’t block driveways or gateways