PICTURES: Fire engine blocked from blaze by illegally parked cars

A couple are calling for change after a fire engine was blocked from a burning beach hut by illegally parked cars.

Tuesday, 12th July 2016, 12:38 pm
Updated Friday, 8th June 2018, 2:18 am
Brian Marsh took photos of the fire engine that was unable to get to a beach hut fire due to vehicles that were illegally parked on West Beach Road

Brian and Beth Marsh, from West Beach Road, Shoreham, have previously complained about the parking situation down their road.

According to the pair, drivers are parking their cars on the south side of the road near Widewater Lagoon during restricted times – despite there being a £1.50 all-day car park 100 metres away.

As a result, oncoming vehicles cannot pass each other, forcing one driver to reverse back down the road and causing tailbacks in the busy summer period.

Brian Marsh took photos of the fire engine that was unable to get to a beach hut fire due to vehicles that were illegally parked on West Beach Road

But last month, parked vehicles prevented a fire engine from getting to a hut fire on Shoreham beach – which Mr and Mrs Marsh saw as the final straw.

Mrs Marsh said: “It could’ve been a lot worse. Okay, it was a fire in a beach hut and it was manageable because the fireman walked over with buckets of water.

“But it could’ve been several huts on fire, or a person trapped in a fire.

“It could’ve been life-threatening. People don’t think the parking’s a big problem until a fire engine comes along.”

A spokesperson from West Sussex Fire and Rescue Service confirmed that a crew attended the beach hut fire on Sunday, June 19 at around 5pm.

The parking situation has been made worse by a missing sign which outlined when parking is not allowed on West Beach Road.

Areas marked with a single yellow line are restricted from 8am to 6pm Saturday and Sunday, from April 1 to September 30.

After the fire, Mr and Mrs Marsh wrote to West Sussex County Council, who are responsible for the parking.

A spokesperson for West Sussex County Council confirmed that a new parking sign has been ordered and will take ‘a few weeks to arrive and then put up’.

They added that Adur and Worthing Councils’ parking services department would enforce the parking restrictions ‘for a period of time’.

Adur District councillor Joss Loader was also approached by Mr and Mrs Marsh about the problem.

She has called for drivers to ‘use their common sense’ before double parking.

“There will be occasions when fire and rescue teams need to get through, or an ambulance,” she said.

“The lines are there for a reason. We would urge people to use the car park and not to block access to emergency vehicles.”

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