Hackney fire chief tells drivers who double park to consider other people after engine gets stuck

The fire engine was blocked in Mount Pleasant Lane, Upper Clapton, while responding to a call. Pictu

The fire engine was blocked in Mount Pleasant Lane, Upper Clapton, while responding to a call. Picture: @LFBHackney - Credit: Archant

Hackney’s fire chief has told drivers who double park to consider other people after an engine was blocked in Upper Clapton while attending a call.

Crews from Stoke Newington were delayed in Mount Pleasant Lane when responding to an incident on Tuesday and borough commander Narinder Dail said it's something that happens too often.

"It's all about safety," she told the Gazette. "We were called to an automatic fire alarm, fortunately, because if there was a fire with anyone involved it would have considerably delayed our attendance time."

Narinder said she plans to set up a project looking at problem areas for double parking with the aim of raising awareness and ultimately stopping it before it's too late. The message is clear: "Think before you park".

"It doesn't daily," she continued. "But it does happen regularly enough for us to keep tweeting about it. We don't really have it on the outskirts of London but in inner London it happens probably once a month - and that is a lot.

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"It slows us down and sometimes we have to get all the crews out and manoeuvre them through.

"Sometimes we have to do a three-point turn or reverse. Hackney is not an ideal place to do that.

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"I would tell drivers to just be mindful. It's all about public safety."

One person who lives in the area said the problems are not just due to double parking.

They blamed the council's "piecemeal implementation" of parking zones, which causes drivers to clog up the roads not covered by a zone.

Last year a petition was launched by people outside of a proposed parking zone covering parts of Mount Pleasant Lane, saying it would simply disperse cars onto their streets - which is what happened.

Thankfully, a parking zone covering their roads looks likely to be brought in later this year.

But the neighbour said they have endured a year of "cars parked bumper to bumper and roads blocked to anything larger than a standard sized car".

"There is simple not enough room for vehicles to pass between cars parked on both sides of the road," they added. "I cycle along Mount Pleasant Lane several times a week and frequently see vehicles stuck, or taking an age to squeeze through with an inch to spare on either side.

"This includes Hackney's own refuse trucks to whom I always express my sympathies over the stress it must cause them."

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