Keep clear to help us steer
Across our communities in Calderdale, where narrow roads weave through terraced streets, a growing concern has emerged which is affecting the provision of public services. Irresponsible car parking is blocking access to emergency service vehicles and hindering the work of frontline services such as waste and recycling operations.
Calderdale Council, in collaboration with West Yorkshire Fire and Rescue Service and SUEZ, are issuing a joint plea to residents to be mindful of their parking habits for the benefit of our local communities.
Waste management company SUEZ, responsible for the collection and disposal of waste and recycling in Calderdale, has experienced challenges with parked cars blocking access to certain roads which can lead to missed collections and delays.
"SUEZ have been providing waste management services to local residents since 2008 and we understand the challenges posed by the topography of Calderdale along with its narrow streets. However, we need the cooperation of residents to ensure our vehicles can navigate these streets without disruption to avoid missed collections, which causes not only an inconvenience but can lead to increased litter in the area too," says Nick Browning, General Manager at SUEZ.
The impact extends beyond inconveniences for frontline services like waste and recycling—it can pose a serious threat to public safety by hampering emergency responders. West Yorkshire Fire and Rescue Service has raised its concerns regarding delays caused by obstructed routes.
Calderdale District Commander, Laura Boocock said: “Bad parking can be a real issue for our firefighters as they try to travel around the area responding to incidents. Fire engines are large vehicles that require space to navigate the roads, sometimes at high speeds when responding to emergencies – and bad parking can make that a problem, which could waste valuable time when mobilising.
“We understand parking can sometimes be tricky and people like to park as close to their homes or businesses as possible – but we simply ask that you think about if a fire engine or other emergency vehicle could get through the gap.
“With our most serious incidents every second counts - so it’s vital our crews can travel quickly and safely.”
Calderdale Council has echoed these concerns and emphasised the disruption that missed collections cause to the lives of residents and the severe risks posed by delays to emergency responders.
Councillor Jenny Lynn, Cabinet Member for Public Services and Communities said: “It’s so important that we all think carefully about how we park our vehicles, especially on the many narrow streets across Calderdale’s towns and villages.
“We all know that irresponsible parking can be frustrating, especially when it leads to issues like missed waste collections or awkward manoeuvring of standard vehicles, but it can also have very serious consequences, putting lives at risk if emergency responders are unable to easily attend an incident.”
When parking, please consider the following advice to avoid obstructing access for our frontline services:
- Do not park in front of emergency service access points.
- Do not park in front of fire stations.
- Obey the Highway Code and road markings such as yellow lines and box junctions.
- Park as close to the kerb as possible.
- Park straight with wheels straight and fold in mirrors.
- In narrow streets only park on one side of the road, unless there are official parking spaces.
- Do not park on or too close to corners or traffic calming measures.
- Leave extra room at tight junctions and avoid parking opposite a junction.