Firefighters experience the consequences of inconsiderate school parking

Firefighters have advised members of the public they could be putting lives at risk by parking inconsiderately during the school run.

A recent ‘mock’ emergency call which occurred outside of three busy North Tyneside schools, clearly shows that inconsiderate parking greatly impacts emergency service crews when answering blue light incidents, and could be putting lives at risk.

Today, Tyne and Wear Fire and Rescue Service (TWFRS) has released photographs taken earlier this month during an afternoon school run.

The film clearly shows a fire appliance from Wallsend Community Fire Station fighting its way through thoughtlessly parked vehicles on the way to attending a simulated incident.

The footage was taken on Hailsham Avenue in Longbenton, which is used as access for Longbenton High School and the Benton Dene Schools campus.

The intention is to show just how hazardous it can be for a fire appliance snaking its way through the traffic and parked vehicles.  It’s not only dangerous for the emergency services but also for other road users and pedestrians, young and old.

Trevor Sturrock, Station Manager at Wallsend Community Fire Station, said:

“It is very frustrating to see on a regular basis people inconsiderately parking their vehicles near to school entrance zones.  This isn’t a problem exclusive to North Tyneside as this is something that we are witnessing across Tyne & Wear.

“As well as the safety concern for pedestrians, there is also the possibility of a Fire Appliance being delayed attending an emergency incident.  All we ask is for road users to take a moment and think about where they are parking and the potential repercussions of their actions.”

Here’s a joint statement from senior management representatives of Benton Dene School and Benton Dene Primary School.

They said: “It was important to us to work with the Fire Service to highlight to parents and carers living within our school community the importance of parking considerately.

“There are five schools accessing Hailsham Avenue, which can quickly become congested during drop off and collection times.

“We hope that the recent visit from the Fire Service will provide a helpful reminder to everyone about ensuring emergency vehicles are always able to get through. As our schools are at the end of this busy road, this is of even more importance to us in order that we may keep our children, parents, carers and staff safe.”

Councillor Hannah Johnson, Cabinet Member for the Environment, said:

“We always urge parents to consider active travel or public transport for the school run. When car use is unavoidable, we recommend parking as far away from the school as possible and then either walking or wheeling the final part of the journey.

“As well as making it safer for children on their way to and from school, this has substantial health and environmental benefits and minimises the danger of causing delays to emergency vehicles. The council is committed to safer, healthier, and more environmentally friendly school journeys.”

Please be considerate of all pedestrians, road users and especially emergency service vehicles when parking in and around school buildings across Tyne and Wear.

Stay Safe.