Canterbury City Council and Kent Fire and Rescue Service have joined forces to warn drivers about the dangerous consequences of irresponsible parking.

The collaboration will see Canenco crews leave newly-designed educational flyers on vehicles blocking road access in a bid to make people aware of the risks of their poor parking.

Flyer that says 'Are we getting through to you?' left on a car that is blocking road access

Crews at the council’s Canenco waste service continue to face collection problems caused by parked vehicles blocking their access to roads right across the district, resulting in whole streets missing their waste collections and as many as 15 streets a day miss their waste collection due to motorists parking their vehicles inconsiderately.

Cllr Charlotte Cornell, Canterbury City Council’s Cabinet Member for Waste and Recycling said:

“Having regular bin collections is important for all our residents and Canenco has been working really hard to improve the reliability of the service.

“But when irresponsible parking means our trucks can’t get through, there is the potential for whole streets to be missed, and residents then rightly feel very frustrated with the situation.

“Please check, and then double check, your parking to ensure that large vehicles can access streets for vital services.”

Cllr Charlotte Cornell and Canenco staff member holding a tape measure across the front of a recycling lorry to show the 4-metre gap needed for a fire engine to operate at an incident
Cllr Charlotte Cornell and Canenco staff member showing the four-metre gap needed for a fire engine to operate at an incident

Although missed bins are a frustrating inconvenience for residents and refuse crews, if a fire engine needed to get down those roads because of an emergency, but failed because of poor parking, the result could be devastating.

Finding an alternative route to an emergency may only add on minutes but can be the difference between life and death for Kent Fire and Rescue Service crews attending a fire.

Danny Turner, Group Manager for Service Delivery at Kent Fire and Rescue Service (KFRS) said:

“Poorly parked vehicles can delay our crews responding to a 999 call. We need a gap of at least 3.1 metres for a fire engine to pass, and a four-metre gap to be able to operate a fire engine at an incident, so we’d urge all drivers to think carefully about where they park to ensure any emergency vehicle can pass.

“We could be on our way to a life-threatening incident, and so any delay caused by poor parking could have devastating consequences.”

There are a few simple ways motorists can help keep roads clear for large vehicles:

  • ensuring you leave at least a 3.1 metre gap
  • pulling in your wing mirrors
  • parking as close to the kerb as possible
  • making sure your wheels are straight
  • not parking too close to corners

Remember, if a bin lorry can’t get through then neither can a fire engine.

David Maidman, Canenco’s Director, said:

“Clearly uncollected household waste is just the tip of the iceberg when it comes to vehicle access problems.

“We understand it can be difficult to park while leaving sufficient space, particularly along some of the district’s narrow, winding streets, but it simply isn’t worth risking someone’s life over a minor inconvenience.”

Find out more about the joint Getting Through campaign.

By Ed

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