Parking preventing emergency services access in Wheathampstead road

King Edward Place residents (back L-R) Guy Morton-Smith, Colin Willsher and John Wackett (front L-R)

King Edward Place residents (back L-R) Guy Morton-Smith, Colin Willsher and John Wackett (front L-R) Dorothy Wackett and Sheila Peters stand at the entrance to the private road where parking is causing problems for access to the houses. - Credit: Archant

A group of neighbours are taking action after fire fighters struggled to reach an elderly resident.

An elderly woman living in a flat in King Edward Place, Wheathampstead was suffering from smoke inhalation after a fire broke out in the kitchen.

According to neighbours, the fire crew had trouble accessing the flat because of drivers parking on double yellow lines in the approach road.

Fire fighters were called just after 8pm on Wednesday, January 11. The fire was out on arrival, but the crew remained until just after 9pm to clear the flat of smoke. An ambulance and Hazardous Area Response Team were also called to the flat at 8.18pm, and ambulance staff treated the woman, who was believed to be in her 70s.

She was treated at the scene for smoke inhalation and did not need to be taken to hospital.

Guy Morton-Smith, 82, who lives in King Edward Place with his wife, said: “We are mostly in our 70s, 80s and 90s. I heard the following morning.

“There’s horrific parking on the double yellow lines and there’s considerable danger for the future. There’s a huge risk and the likelihood of something more serious happening next time.

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“Adjoining us there’s a nursery school and although they are closer to the main road kids could let go of their parents’ hands and run out in the road. There are accidents waiting to happen.

“If people realised how dangerous it was parking on that short stretch they wouldn’t do so but they’re not aware.”

The neighbours will be meeting with the fire service, the police and other interested parties to see what can be done about parking by the flats.

An ambulance service spokesman said: “It would be of help to the emergency services if people parked in a way which did not block their vehicles in such situations.”