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Think before you park

29 June 2020

Residents across Norfolk are being reminded to think carefully before they park, following a fire in Great Yarmouth where crews struggled to access the building.

Three crews attended the fire at The Lord Nelson pub in Great Yarmouth at 3.20am today. On arrival they could not access the pub from either end of Trafalgar Road West due to badly parked vehicles, including some parked on double yellow lines on corners.

Crews tried to access from both ends, having to reverse and find another route in (via Colomb Road and Danby Road) in order to reach the property. This added at least two minutes onto their response times. The 999 call was received at 3.20am and crews from Great Yarmouth and Gorleston arrived on scene at 3.29am.

Norfolk Fire and Rescue Service’s Eastern Group Manager Clive Wells said: “Every second counts when attending a 999 call. 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.”

Councillor 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.”

The Great Yarmouth fire was extinguished by 4.12am and nobody was injured.

The warning follows another incident earlier this month where Wroxham’s fire crew had difficulty accessing Horstead Mill for a training exercise, due to vehicles parked in narrow lanes. Following that incident, Assistant Chief Fire Office Scott Norman issued a plea to motorists calling on them to park carefully and considerately.

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