Ambulance parked on double-yellow lines sparks parking fury

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Residents of Darwen, Lancashire have hit out at an ambulance crew who left their vehicle parked on a double-yellow line “to grab a butty” from a sandwich shop. They added that they are “sick and tired” of motorists parking on the corner of a busy junction.

The Crown & Thistle Bakery in Darwen is hugely popular with locals as well as those who work on the road, LancashireLive reported.

Residents in nearby Hector Road, which runs down the side of the bakery, claimed its popularity has led to a number of issues with customers blocking drives and pavements.

This week, one disgruntled home-owner, who is not being named by LancsLive, photographed an ambulance parked on double yellow lines.

The resident said he was “gobsmacked” when he looked through the bakery’s window and saw the paramedics inside.

He added: “They’d obviously just parked there, as other people often do, so they could go inside and grab a butty.

“We’re getting sick and tired of people parking wherever they want. It’s not the bakery’s fault but its popularity means that it’s often difficult to park nearby and with its location on the junction there aren’t many spaces.”

A spokesperson for North West Ambulance Service declined to comment on the incident but said: “Crews sometimes briefly grab some refreshments in between emergency calls and are reminded of their responsibilities to abide by the highway code when not attending 999 incidents.”

The news comes after drivers were warned they could be fined thousands of pounds for letting an ambulance go past, according to a Highway Code rule.

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British motorists could face fines up to £1,000 for letting an ambulance go past incorrectly.

While the Highway Code clearly states that road users must give way to an oncoming emergency vehicle, it also adds that some manoeuvres are illegal.

And, if motorists are not careful, they could be slapped with a £1,000 fine.

The illegal manoeuvres include driving onto a bus lane, running a red light, and entering a yellow box junction.

While it’s easy for road users to assume that they would be exempt from following those rules when an ambulance approaches, that is not the case.

Some offences may not only land drivers with a hefty fine but also with several points on their driving licence.

When approached by an emergency vehicle while driving, rule 219 of the Highway Code says: “You should look and listen for ambulances, fire engines, police, doctors or other emergency vehicles using flashing blue, red or green lights and sirens or flashing headlights, or Highways Agency Traffic Officer and Incident Support vehicles using flashing amber lights.

“When one approaches do not panic.

“Consider the route of such a vehicle and take appropriate action to let it pass, while complying with all traffic signs.

“If necessary, pull to the side of the road and stop, but try to avoid stopping before the brow of a hill, a bend or narrow section of road.

“Do not endanger yourself, other road users, or pedestrians, and avoid mounting the kerb.

“Do not brake harshly on approach to a junction or roundabout, as a following vehicle may not have the same view as you.”

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