INCONSIDERATE street parking proved problematic for the emergency services across the county at the weekend.

Street parking, which is often the most talked about issue in newly developed areas such as North Swindon, is also causing problems nearby Malmesbury.

Wiltshire Fire and Rescue Service, in conjunction with Wiltshire Police, took part in a factfinding mission to several areas at the weekend following concerns raised by residents recently via social media and conversations with fire crews.

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  • A tight squeeze

Chris Harvey, watch manager at Malmesbury Fire station, said selfish parking could lead to problems for fire, ambulance and police crews responding to incidents.

He said: “We visited the highlighted areas and are happy to confirm that we were able to reach each location.

“However, this was not without its challenges and at certain locations, alternative routes had to be sought for access, and, in other places, the gaps were so small that the fire engine had to be marshalled through the gaps at a less than walking pace.

“Had we been responding to an incident at these locations, then the vehicles that were causing the problems would have significantly impacted our response times.

“Hopefully when parking, people will start to consider if they have left enough room for an emergency vehicle to get through.”

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  • A fire engine tries to get past a car

Sgt Martin Alvis, of Royal Wootton Bassett and Cricklade Neighbourhood Policing Team, joined the fire service for the practice.

He added: “The work that the fire service carry out in extremely challenging and often dangerous circumstances should be commended.

“As a community I ask that motorists really take time to look and see where they park. Cars were moved today and one motorist was fined.

“As we were dealing with one car, the crew received a shout and we were forced to take another route, extending the journey time.

“Thankfully all was in order but that extra time could have had a negative impact on the end result.”