South Wales streets for emergency services vehicles, especially the fire appliances of South Wales Fire and Rescue Service (SWFRS).

To raise awareness of the issue in areas such as Blaenavon, where there have been previous issues with appliances struggling to access streets and incidents, SWFRS alongside Gwent Police and Blaenavon Town Council, will be sharing information on how residents can park safely, as well as allow enough room for an emergency vehicle to pass.

Did you know that a fire appliance is 2.8m wide and 7.5m long? That is the equivalent of a HGV lorry trying to get passed.

Station Commander for Blaenavon and Cwmbran, Tony Jackson said, "We work closely with partners and members of the public in our local communities to ensure that we all stay safe on our roads and this includes parking. However, with the number of cars on local streets, there have been access for our crews when attending incidents.

"If local residents could think about the room they leave when parking their vehicle, which includes parking on a bend or corner, it just means that this reduces the risk of damage to their vehicle due to emergency services having to squeeze through or that we are delayed in attending an emergency which puts lives at risk."

Councillor Alan Jones, Torfaen’s representative on the South Wales Fire and Rescue Authority commented, "This is a real issue across Torfaen. Our streets were simply not designed to handle the amount of traffic now on the roads, and it only takes one or two drivers to park their vehicles irresponsibly to prevent a fire engine or ambulance from accessing an emergency incident in time.

"We all have a responsibility to ensure that the emergency services are not prevented from doing their jobs, ultimately saving lives, and I would urge all Torfaen residents to consider their surrounding and park responsibly."

Gwent Police Neighbourhood Beat Manager, PC Chris Thomas added, "We ask that all motorists park legally and responsibly. Thoughtless, inconsiderate parking could make it very difficult, and significantly delay emergency services personnel attending incidents where they are most needed. Please be mindful of this when leaving your vehicle unattended."

Limitations in parking can be a cause of the double parking issue and SWFRS will be working the Police, neighbourhood groups and the communities themselves on how residents can park safely, as well as encouraging local businesses to signpost customers to safe parking areas such as using local free car parks.