Parking in front of Lytham fire station will cost lives, chiefs have warned.
Station manager Michael Duffell’s grim prediction came after another motorist ignored the huge white ‘keep clear’ letters and sign saying emergency access is required at all times at the weekend.
The on-going problem, which has been documented by crews on social media over the past 12 months, has sparked an urgent plea for drivers to be considerate and to think about where they park – even to drop people off – before they cost somebody their life.
“We have hatchings and signs up but they still persist,” Mr Duffell said. “Sometimes it’s just dropping off, and sometimes it’s abandoning their car. It’s ridiculous really.
“All we can do is ask people to be considerate, and to consider the consequence of blocking access to a fire station. It could cost lives. That’s the message we need to get across.” Lytham is a retained fire station and is not manned around the clock. It means firefighters working and living nearby need access to arrive at the station in their own vehicles before climbing aboard the fire engines.
Mr Duffell added: “It has never stopped us turning out yet, but if it carries on it’s just a matter of time.
“If our staff can’t get on the forecourt and get access to their fire station, then we can’t respond with a fire engine.”
One motorist told crews who had been delayed by their Honda Civic they had only been ‘five minutes’, while others have left their car blocking access for up to half an hour.
Some have also defended their actions because they are stopping for a few seconds, or just turning around.
Yellow box junctions, often seen on busy routes, are in place to keep traffic on the roads flowing but they are also used to keep fire and ambulance stations clear.
Although it is in place at Lytham fire station, yellow box junctions do not require any other signage.
You may only enter a yellow box junction when your exit is clear – except when turning right –and there is enough space on the other side of the junction for your vehicle to clear the box completely without stopping.
Those who park outside Lytham fire station may be issued with a fixed penalty notice by the police, council, or Driver and Vehicle Standards Agency (DVSA) – which goes up by 50 per cent if not paid within 28 days.