EMERGENCY crews were forced to park their fire engine and walk carrying a ladder after parked cars blocked access to a road on a 999 call out.

Now residents and politicians are demanding action after the drama in Southampton.

It comes after after two firecrews and an ambulance were called to Heathfield Close in Sholing after an elderly man collapsed in his bathroom.

But due to "horrendous parking" fire crews could not get down the road so had to park elsewhere and get to the scene on foot carrying a ladder

A spokesman for Hampshire Fire and Rescue said: "Crews gained access to the bathroom by climbing through the window using a ladder and the ambulance team treated the gentleman."

Debbie and Dennis Taylor have lived in the close for the past two years.

Mrs Taylor , 56, said that when fire crews arrived at the scene they were unable to access the road.

She said: "The parking here is so bad they couldn't drive down the road.

"They had to take the ladder off the back of the engine and walk to the property."

She added: "It's absolutely disgusting. I have spoken to the council before about the parking here.

"If there was a fire the building would have gone up in flames. It's a health hazard."

The couple have contacted the council about the parking in the road and suggested that a grass verge located in the close should be turned into a car park to provide extra parking spaces.

Mr Taylor, 59, said that the verge is around 30 feet wide and 60 foot in length.

He added: "There's definitely enough room for another 25 spaces."

Councillor Graham Wilkinson who represents the Sholing ward said: "I sympathise with their frustration. This road wasn't designed to accommodate that many vehicles.

"I think its unlikely the council will agree to converting the verge. I think people need to park more thoughtfully."

Southampton Itchen MP Royston Smith said: "There are parking issues across the city. People park inappropriately and thoughtlessly.

"The council should prioritise roads like Heathfield Close where emergency access is difficult.

"I will speak with the council and flag up this issue. I feel the residents pain but this a widespread issue."

A spokesperson from Southampton City Council said: “The council’s policy is that we will investigate implementing parking restrictions on a residential road if we receive a collective request from a representative group of residents (e.g. petition) who would subsequently be affected by the proposal.

"The council would also consider implementing parking restrictions if we received representation from the emergency services in respect of maintaining access along the public highway.

"Highways and Transport have no record of such a request or representation being received in either regard.”