Brighton and Hove fire crews issues are nothing new

The Argus: Cars parked on both sides of Toronto Terrace, Brighton Buy this photo » Cars parked on both sides of Toronto Terrace, Brighton

Fire crews have been hindered from saving lives by inconsiderate parking for nearly a quarter of a century – but still the problem persists.

Photos taken by The Argus over the past 25 years reveal that despite repeated calls for congested roads to be cleared in central Brighton, little action has been taken.

East Sussex Fire and Rescue has again warned that badly parked cars could cost lives.

Earlier this month, The Argus reported that firefighters lost vital minutes in reaching blaze victim Julie Marriott, who slipped into unconsciousness after a tea light started a fire. Parked cars blocked the route to her flat in Park Crescent Terrace, Brighton.

In 2011, a similar incident occurred in Toronto Terrace, Hanover, Brighton, and a family’s Christmas presents were destroyed.

But councillors were complaining about the situation along the same street 23 years ago.

In March 1989 a fire broke out in Toronto Terrace and two people escaped with seconds to spare. A cat died in the fire.

We reported at the time: “Firemen lost valuable time because they were prevented getting to the blaze by cars parked on both sides of the road.”

Photographs taken then showed vehicles blocking Toronto Terrace. Twenty-three years on, the style of the vehicles has changed but little else.

Damaged vehicles

This month, we revealed how vehicles along Park Crescent were damaged by fire engines as they had been more than two decades ago.

Brighton and Hove City Council said a parking scheme would improve access but that residents voted against the idea in 2009.

A spokesman said: “The council does not impose parking schemes where they are not wanted by the majority of local residents and businesses.

“The Park Crescent area was consulted about the possibility of a parking scheme in 2009 along with other areas around London Road Station and off Lewes Road.

“Residents in the Hanover and Elm Grove area – including roads north of Elm Grove up to and including Hartington Road – were consulted about the possibility of a parking scheme in 2010 and 75% of respondents voted against it.”

An East Sussex Fire and Rescue spokeswoman urged drivers to consider “your life, the lives of your family and your neighbours” when parking.

She said: “It’s not uncommon for crews attending incidents to be slowed down or completely blocked out by cars parked either side of residential roads. Whilst firefighters recognise the difficulties residents have in finding suitable on-street parking in many areas of the city this is an issue that has the potential to cost lives.

“Drivers may be unaware that they are committing an offence by parking in a way that restricts access for fire appliances, even when they appear to be legally parked.”

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Comments (14)

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4:26pm Fri 30 Nov 12

rolivan says...

How would a parking scheme improve access?Surely a NO parking scheme needs to be looked into.
How would a parking scheme improve access?Surely a NO parking scheme needs to be looked into. rolivan

4:31pm Fri 30 Nov 12

Uncle_Meat says...

As it's been a known problem to fire crews for nearly 25 years, sorry 'quarter of a century', it sounds more dramatic - how about they buy equipment that's fit for purpose?
Narrow streets (and legally parked cars) are a problem that Cityclean have successfully overcome by buying narrower refuse and recycling trucks.
But let's not let facts get in the way of your thinly veiled anti-car agenda.
As it's been a known problem to fire crews for nearly 25 years, sorry 'quarter of a century', it sounds more dramatic - how about they buy equipment that's fit for purpose? Narrow streets (and legally parked cars) are a problem that Cityclean have successfully overcome by buying narrower refuse and recycling trucks. But let's not let facts get in the way of your thinly veiled anti-car agenda. Uncle_Meat

5:01pm Fri 30 Nov 12

bug eye says...

what do the emergency services make of all the road restrictions imposed by the council, such as narrowing roads, built out bus stops, proliferation of traffic lights. all causing congestion and delaying the emergency services, I have lost count how many times an ambulance has been stuck on the seafront behind traffic that cannot let them pass. madness. what will the 20mph do to them too, as for parking zones around the lewes road hanover area, of course they vote against parking zones as they are green voting hippies or students and do not want to buy a permit for their 3 or 4 gas guzzling old banger cars per home, no doubt some fool will say its the landlords fault and they should be moving their cars for them.
what do the emergency services make of all the road restrictions imposed by the council, such as narrowing roads, built out bus stops, proliferation of traffic lights. all causing congestion and delaying the emergency services, I have lost count how many times an ambulance has been stuck on the seafront behind traffic that cannot let them pass. madness. what will the 20mph do to them too, as for parking zones around the lewes road hanover area, of course they vote against parking zones as they are green voting hippies or students and do not want to buy a permit for their 3 or 4 gas guzzling old banger cars per home, no doubt some fool will say its the landlords fault and they should be moving their cars for them. bug eye

7:15pm Fri 30 Nov 12

alyn, southwick says...

It might (and therefore still is) an idea to buy a special unit for such streets, but i doubt all their vehicles could be such and still meet all demands made of them, nor can they guarantee every fire want be a one vehicle job or not need other units that still wont fit in.
Solution Fire Service buy a special unit PLUS council impose and enforce more appropriate parking regulations.
It might (and therefore still is) an idea to buy a special unit for such streets, but i doubt all their vehicles could be such and still meet all demands made of them, nor can they guarantee every fire want be a one vehicle job or not need other units that still wont fit in. Solution Fire Service buy a special unit PLUS council impose and enforce more appropriate parking regulations. alyn, southwick

7:16pm Fri 30 Nov 12

AmboGuy says...

Uncle_Meat wrote:
As it's been a known problem to fire crews for nearly 25 years, sorry 'quarter of a century', it sounds more dramatic - how about they buy equipment that's fit for purpose?
Narrow streets (and legally parked cars) are a problem that Cityclean have successfully overcome by buying narrower refuse and recycling trucks.
But let's not let facts get in the way of your thinly veiled anti-car agenda.
Rearm maybe because the fire appliances are designed to carry upto 6 people, over 2000 litres or water, cutting gear, hoses, generators, lighting sets, oxygen cylinders, water rescue gear etc etc etc. they are not the size they are for the fun of it, they could be smaller but wouldn't be able to carry all the gear they need to.
[quote][p][bold]Uncle_Meat[/bold] wrote: As it's been a known problem to fire crews for nearly 25 years, sorry 'quarter of a century', it sounds more dramatic - how about they buy equipment that's fit for purpose? Narrow streets (and legally parked cars) are a problem that Cityclean have successfully overcome by buying narrower refuse and recycling trucks. But let's not let facts get in the way of your thinly veiled anti-car agenda.[/p][/quote]Rearm maybe because the fire appliances are designed to carry upto 6 people, over 2000 litres or water, cutting gear, hoses, generators, lighting sets, oxygen cylinders, water rescue gear etc etc etc. they are not the size they are for the fun of it, they could be smaller but wouldn't be able to carry all the gear they need to. AmboGuy

7:30pm Fri 30 Nov 12

mackeson says...

Of course the fire engines can be made narrower, and then a similar narrow trailer be used to carry all the extra equipment. This pair could then easily pass through narrow streets and get round awkward corners.
Also what about narrowing the pavements so as to widen the road, or, even simpler, allowing motorists to park half of their vehicle on the pavements.
Of course the fire engines can be made narrower, and then a similar narrow trailer be used to carry all the extra equipment. This pair could then easily pass through narrow streets and get round awkward corners. Also what about narrowing the pavements so as to widen the road, or, even simpler, allowing motorists to park half of their vehicle on the pavements. mackeson

7:40pm Fri 30 Nov 12

AmboGuy says...

mackeson wrote:
Of course the fire engines can be made narrower, and then a similar narrow trailer be used to carry all the extra equipment. This pair could then easily pass through narrow streets and get round awkward corners.
Also what about narrowing the pavements so as to widen the road, or, even simpler, allowing motorists to park half of their vehicle on the pavements.
The main bulk of the fire engine is used to carry water, can water be made narrower too?
[quote][p][bold]mackeson[/bold] wrote: Of course the fire engines can be made narrower, and then a similar narrow trailer be used to carry all the extra equipment. This pair could then easily pass through narrow streets and get round awkward corners. Also what about narrowing the pavements so as to widen the road, or, even simpler, allowing motorists to park half of their vehicle on the pavements.[/p][/quote]The main bulk of the fire engine is used to carry water, can water be made narrower too? AmboGuy

7:59pm Fri 30 Nov 12

Roundbill says...

Um, yes: it's a liquid.
Um, yes: it's a liquid. Roundbill

8:32pm Fri 30 Nov 12

angrymonkey says...

so they should pay loads for a new fire appliance just so people can park where they like. fire cover is being cut back as no money from the gov.maybe get a little appliance for the tight roads with bad parking but not have the water or equipment for large fires or rescue equipment for people stuck in a crash.Maybe people that like to park badly can pay for a new fire apliance.
so they should pay loads for a new fire appliance just so people can park where they like. fire cover is being cut back as no money from the gov.maybe get a little appliance for the tight roads with bad parking but not have the water or equipment for large fires or rescue equipment for people stuck in a crash.Maybe people that like to park badly can pay for a new fire apliance. angrymonkey

9:09pm Fri 30 Nov 12

AmboGuy says...

Roundbill wrote:
Um, yes: it's a liquid.
So they should carry compressed water? Really? Think before you type please.
[quote][p][bold]Roundbill[/bold] wrote: Um, yes: it's a liquid.[/p][/quote]So they should carry compressed water? Really? Think before you type please. AmboGuy

9:35pm Fri 30 Nov 12

Brightonscouse2 says...

mackeson wrote:
Of course the fire engines can be made narrower, and then a similar narrow trailer be used to carry all the extra equipment. This pair could then easily pass through narrow streets and get round awkward corners.
Also what about narrowing the pavements so as to widen the road, or, even simpler, allowing motorists to park half of their vehicle on the pavements.
Why should the fire brigade make costly changes just so some lazy people can park near their houses? It just goes to show where people's priorities are. Also a fire appliance carrying a trailer wouldn't be able to get to an emergency as quickly as a regular appliance. Are you suggesting response times should also be sacrificed, so people can park close to home?
[quote][p][bold]mackeson[/bold] wrote: Of course the fire engines can be made narrower, and then a similar narrow trailer be used to carry all the extra equipment. This pair could then easily pass through narrow streets and get round awkward corners. Also what about narrowing the pavements so as to widen the road, or, even simpler, allowing motorists to park half of their vehicle on the pavements.[/p][/quote]Why should the fire brigade make costly changes just so some lazy people can park near their houses? It just goes to show where people's priorities are. Also a fire appliance carrying a trailer wouldn't be able to get to an emergency as quickly as a regular appliance. Are you suggesting response times should also be sacrificed, so people can park close to home? Brightonscouse2

10:32pm Fri 30 Nov 12

HJarrs says...

The problem of parking in streets designed for horse and cart have been with us for years, however the problem is becoming progressively worse as the average car has become longer and wider over time (like most of us!). While some suggest that slimmer fire appliances should be bought, there are already some streets in Hanover through which you couldn't squeeze a 4x4 down and down by the Basket Makers I noticed that a 4x4 had to partially drive on the pavement to drive down the road! In conclusion, smaller cars are what we need.
The problem of parking in streets designed for horse and cart have been with us for years, however the problem is becoming progressively worse as the average car has become longer and wider over time (like most of us!). While some suggest that slimmer fire appliances should be bought, there are already some streets in Hanover through which you couldn't squeeze a 4x4 down and down by the Basket Makers I noticed that a 4x4 had to partially drive on the pavement to drive down the road! In conclusion, smaller cars are what we need. HJarrs

11:43pm Fri 30 Nov 12

guitarmanzz says...

bug eye wrote:
what do the emergency services make of all the road restrictions imposed by the council, such as narrowing roads, built out bus stops, proliferation of traffic lights. all causing congestion and delaying the emergency services, I have lost count how many times an ambulance has been stuck on the seafront behind traffic that cannot let them pass. madness. what will the 20mph do to them too, as for parking zones around the lewes road hanover area, of course they vote against parking zones as they are green voting hippies or students and do not want to buy a permit for their 3 or 4 gas guzzling old banger cars per home, no doubt some fool will say its the landlords fault and they should be moving their cars for them.
Nice comments bug eye and from having to drive around the lentil eating "hanover" area its clear to see the emergency services will not be able to get through a lot of these streets but cz all the tarquin green voting types with their cooking oil vans etc the parking restictons will never come in to this area..i bet they all listen to 5 song playlist mind numbing heart fm also..
[quote][p][bold]bug eye[/bold] wrote: what do the emergency services make of all the road restrictions imposed by the council, such as narrowing roads, built out bus stops, proliferation of traffic lights. all causing congestion and delaying the emergency services, I have lost count how many times an ambulance has been stuck on the seafront behind traffic that cannot let them pass. madness. what will the 20mph do to them too, as for parking zones around the lewes road hanover area, of course they vote against parking zones as they are green voting hippies or students and do not want to buy a permit for their 3 or 4 gas guzzling old banger cars per home, no doubt some fool will say its the landlords fault and they should be moving their cars for them.[/p][/quote]Nice comments bug eye and from having to drive around the lentil eating "hanover" area its clear to see the emergency services will not be able to get through a lot of these streets but cz all the tarquin green voting types with their cooking oil vans etc the parking restictons will never come in to this area..i bet they all listen to 5 song playlist mind numbing heart fm also.. guitarmanzz

8:28am Sat 1 Dec 12

aat99 says...

guitarmanzz wrote:
bug eye wrote:
what do the emergency services make of all the road restrictions imposed by the council, such as narrowing roads, built out bus stops, proliferation of traffic lights. all causing congestion and delaying the emergency services, I have lost count how many times an ambulance has been stuck on the seafront behind traffic that cannot let them pass. madness. what will the 20mph do to them too, as for parking zones around the lewes road hanover area, of course they vote against parking zones as they are green voting hippies or students and do not want to buy a permit for their 3 or 4 gas guzzling old banger cars per home, no doubt some fool will say its the landlords fault and they should be moving their cars for them.
Nice comments bug eye and from having to drive around the lentil eating "hanover" area its clear to see the emergency services will not be able to get through a lot of these streets but cz all the tarquin green voting types with their cooking oil vans etc the parking restictons will never come in to this area..i bet they all listen to 5 song playlist mind numbing heart fm also..
Think you will find that a lot of inconsiderate parking is done by 'normal' people as shown in the photos. When I lived in Kingsley Road several neighbours double parked outside their house so that commuters returning from the station would have to hoot their horn to get them to move their cars. Then my neighbours could go into the gap rather than park 100'yards away and walk.

Oh and the council did impose a CPZ even though a majority voted against !
[quote][p][bold]guitarmanzz[/bold] wrote: [quote][p][bold]bug eye[/bold] wrote: what do the emergency services make of all the road restrictions imposed by the council, such as narrowing roads, built out bus stops, proliferation of traffic lights. all causing congestion and delaying the emergency services, I have lost count how many times an ambulance has been stuck on the seafront behind traffic that cannot let them pass. madness. what will the 20mph do to them too, as for parking zones around the lewes road hanover area, of course they vote against parking zones as they are green voting hippies or students and do not want to buy a permit for their 3 or 4 gas guzzling old banger cars per home, no doubt some fool will say its the landlords fault and they should be moving their cars for them.[/p][/quote]Nice comments bug eye and from having to drive around the lentil eating "hanover" area its clear to see the emergency services will not be able to get through a lot of these streets but cz all the tarquin green voting types with their cooking oil vans etc the parking restictons will never come in to this area..i bet they all listen to 5 song playlist mind numbing heart fm also..[/p][/quote]Think you will find that a lot of inconsiderate parking is done by 'normal' people as shown in the photos. When I lived in Kingsley Road several neighbours double parked outside their house so that commuters returning from the station would have to hoot their horn to get them to move their cars. Then my neighbours could go into the gap rather than park 100'yards away and walk. Oh and the council did impose a CPZ even though a majority voted against ! aat99

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