“SECONDS cost lives”, that is the message for drivers who continue to park outside Fordingbridge Fire Station.

It has been an ongoing problem for the station.

Watch manager Pete White said: “It is a daily occurrence, people pull in and use that space to have a telephone conversation or to pick people up. We need that entire space to get the fire engine out. If anything is there it impedes our exit.”

He added: “Seconds can cost lives, if we are held up if somebody has got out of their car and walked up the road or parked a bin lorry to go and pick a bin up from around the corner it could make a difference. Let’s hope it never does. Unless we highlight it people are going to carry on.”

In April, a firefighter was verbally abused after asking a motorist who had parked on the markings to take a phone call to move his vehicle.

“They seem to be so dismissive as well when you ask them to move it’s like ‘well I’m only here for a couple of minutes’ but that’s all it takes,” said Pete.

There have been occasions where three vehicles have been parked on the keep clear hatch markings at the same time. Motorists have also parked in the fire station car park.

“It’s not a small sign that says ‘keep clear’, it is fairly apparent I would like to think,” said Pete. “It is not just us. Romsey have the same problem, Portchester, Rushmoor.”

He added: “It is for people to be aware that emergency vehicles require access at all times.

“People need to think about what might happen. Let’s hope we never have to put on the front page that firefighters were delayed because of somebody parking at the front of the station.”