In the Fens town where police criticised drivers for bad parking that blocks fire engines a police van does just that

Parked police van blocking fire engine in Hill Street, Wisbech.

Parked police van blocking fire engine in Hill Street, Wisbech. - Credit: Archant

Not for the first time has a fire engine been blocked by bad parking in Wisbech – but this was the first time the culprit turned out to be a police van.

Parked police van blocking fire engine in Hill Street, Wisbech.

Parked police van blocking fire engine in Hill Street, Wisbech. - Credit: Archant

Eagle eyed reader Bruno Ferreira took the photos last Thursday in Hill Street – ironically a road previously used by Cambs fire and rescue to illustrate how inconsiderate parking can endanger lives.

Police have been remarkably coy about the incident, in the first phone call suggesting the fire service hadn’t complained (we didn’t suggest they had).

And in a later phone call a spokesman said a search of police logs for the day suggested the driver had gone in search of a shoplifter he hoped to arrest.

Bruno is not entirely convinced there weren’t alternative parking places for the van which he says was there for around an hour.

“I got there (as my mother in law owns the Portuguese coffee shop nearby) just before 2pm,” he said.

“The police van as there until about 3.15pm or so”.

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He says he only saw the one officer and no shoplifter being taken into custody.

Bruno added: “If the police officer gone there only to look at CCTV and take notes, he could have parked somewhere else.”

Last April Cambs police posted a photo of a fire engine struggling to navigate a street in the town centre due to cars badly parked either side.

The photo, which they shared on social media, was captioned: “Inconsiderate parking in Wisbech High Street again,” highlighting an issue which, in recent months, has become more prevalent in the town.

And last January the fire service took to Facebook to warn drivers of the perils of poor parking after one of their fire engines struggled to make it down a street thanks to a poorly-parked Ford Ka.

PCSO Lisa Mann, who was on the patrol at the time, said: “Inconsiderate and at times illegal parking is becoming an increasing issue in Wisbech.

“Parking in an inappropriate way could cause a delay in emergency services reaching an incident and therefore put lives at risk.

“We urge people to think carefully about where they choose to leave their vehicle; ensuring it is parked legally and in a way that does not prevent larger vehicles from accessing the road.”

Fire fighters also complained of poor parking in December after a number of illegally-parked cars blocked their route at North Brink.

Firefighters in Cambridgeshire also shared a photograph of a fire engine blocked from driving down a road in Huntingdon because of inconsiderate parking.

The crew was not on an emergency call - meaning no lives were put at risk this time - but it hopes the worrying image will make people think more carefully about how they leave their cars.

“Luckily, they were on access checks and not a 999 call - but if it had been an emergency call it would have added another five minutes to a time-critical incident,” said a spokesman.

“Please think about how you park when leaving your car on the streets of Huntingdon.”