‘Parking Chaos’ could cost lives on Daventry’s Headlands estate

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Problems with parking on a Daventry estate could lead to lives being put in danger, authorities have warned.

The problem has been raised after the fire service struggled to get two appliances to a bedroom fire in Highfield Road on the Headlands on Saturday due to cars parked on both sides of the narrow road.

As a result of the fire, Northamptonshire Police, the county’s fire and rescue service and district councillor Chris Long have been working together to try to find a solution to the problem.

Cllr Long said: “I have regularly warned County Highways about problematic parking in the evenings on Highfield Road and Hemans Road. It was made clear that if something wasn’t done to improve matters an incident would occur requiring the attendance of an emergency vehicle and access would not be possible because of the volume and nature of parking of vehicles.

“We need to look at this should a further fire break out – and perhaps next time with more serious consequences.”

Sgt Sam Dobbs from Northamptonshire Police said: “People think that they should be able to park right outside their house.

“However, it is not always possible and room should be left for emergency services to get past, especially as these residents are going to need them in the event of an incident such as fire.

“We were fortunate that this was early in the evening and cars could be moved quickly. But if it had been in the middle of the night, it would have been much more difficult.”

Baz Fox, group manager for Northamptonshire Fire and Rescue Service said: “People have to be aware that a fire engine is three metres wide and they need to leave enough space for it to pass.

“If we can’t get through, there could be fatal consequences next time.”

The fire happened at 9.20pm on Saturday. A bedroom and contents were damaged in the fire but no one suffered serious injuries.

Residents in Highfield Road are fed up with the problems parking has caused.

Brian Bell said: “If something like this happens again, you are talking about an emergency vehicle getting delayed by at least a minute.

“In that time, it could be a matter of life and death for somebody.”

Tracy Randall said: “Highfield Road is awful. It’s just a good job the house was not totally ablaze on Saturday night as people would have certainly died waiting for cars to be moved so that the fire service could get through.

“We have been saying for a very, very long time that something needs to be done.

“Take away the grass verges to allow people to park so the emergency services would be able to get through.”