Wiltshire and Dorset Fire and Rescue are urging people to think before they park as it could save lives.

In an emergency, every second that the emergency services are delayed could have serious, life-threatening consequences.

Wiltshire and Dorset Fire and Rescue are now asking drivers to think when they are parking and ask themselves the question: "Are we getting through?"

The fire service has made a video showing just how hard it can be to get through a residential road with lots of parked cars. A problem they face on a daily basis.

A spokesperson from the fire service said: "Poor or inconsiderate parking, even if only for a few minutes, can delay us during an emergency call and, in the case of a rapidly developing fire, every second counts.

"Roads near schools are often difficult to pass through safely, especially when cars are dropping off or picking up children. You may not be parking illegally, but is there a smarter option? Would a space a few metres away be a better place to stop?"

Poor or inconsiderate parking is not limited to roads near schools and often affects high streets and the roads by fire stations.

All on-call firefighters have to be at their station within five minutes. Any delay in arriving has a negative effect on our operational effectiveness.

"Don’t let your car be the one that slows us in an emergency."

The Wiltshire and Dorset Fire and Rescue put together a list of what to think about when parking:

  • Pull in your wing mirrors (don’t forget to flip them out before driving off)
  • Don’t park too close to corners, fire engines are larger than cars and need more room to turn
  • If you’re parking opposite someone, remember that a fire engine needs 3m, or two car widths, to pass safely
  • Make sure your wheels are straight and not sticking out
  • Park as close to the kerb as you can
  • Always follow the Highway Code and obey the road markings such as yellow lines and box junctions
  • In narrow streets, only park on one side of the road where possible
  • Make sure you leave enough space for pedestrians on the pavement
  • Don’t block driveways

They added: "If there are issues with access in your area, please contact your local authority (BCP Council, Dorset Council, Swindon Borough Council or Wiltshire Council). Your town or parish council may also be able to help raise your concerns."