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Vehicle owners are being urged to park considerately on the road and make sure there is enough room for emergency service and recycling vehicles to get through.

Inconsiderate vehicle parking in North Somerset led to over five and a half thousand recycling and waste collections being missed or late between Monday 16 March and Friday 24 April due to blocked access.

“Our collection crews are stretched with additional waste and staffing pressures due to coronavirus,” said Cllr Bridget Petty, North Somerset Council’s executive member whose portfolio includes recycling and waste.

“We know residents really appreciate what our crews are doing but it is frustrating if they cannot access a road for collection and it may not always be possible to return to try again.”

The inconsiderate parking message is echoed by Avon Fire and Rescue Service, with Assistant Chief Fire Officer, Simon Shilton, saying: “Minutes really can mean the difference between life and death when we are responding to an incident.

“Firefighters have to be able to navigate tight roads with large trucks when necessary.

“We appreciate that people want to be able to park outside their homes during this time and don’t do this deliberately but they have to help us to help them.

“Drivers don’t always appreciate the size of a fire truck and park with only enough space for cars to pass. When we manoeuvre through tight streets, we can rarely travel at speed, if at all.

“We would like drivers to just be a little more considerate about the space they are leaving, allowing enough space for us to pass. This really can be life or death so minutes of delay can make a big difference.”

Follow these top tips when parking:

  • Pull in your wing mirrors (don’t forget to flip them out before driving off)
  • Don’t park too close to corners, fire engines, recycling vehicles and refuse trucks are larger than cars and need more room to turn
  • If you’re parking opposite someone, remember that a fire engine and council vehicles needs three metres, or two car widths, to pass safely
  • Make sure your wheels are straight and not sticking out
  • Park as close to the kerb as you can
  • Always follow the Highway Code and obey the road markings such as yellow lines and box junctions
  • In narrow streets, only park on one side of the road where possible
  • Make sure you leave enough space for pedestrians on the pavement
  • Don’t block driveways.

Cllr Petty added: “With many more people working from home or being furloughed from their jobs, there are more vehicles around more of the time so please follow the top parking tips – you could really help emergency services and our crews.”

Press release by North Somerset Council.

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