I WAS shocked by the Daily Echo story (January 17) that 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.

It is exactly the same situation in the Southampton cul-de-sac where I live. Inconsiderate parking is putting lives at risk where emergency vehicles are not able to get through.

The situation is particularly bad at weekends and when people have parties or family celebrations. The close is cluttered with badly parked vehicles. Turn ins which should be free of vehicles are blocked. Sadly it reflects that me society attitude.

It is also not helped by residents parking commercial vehicles outside their homes overnight and at weekends. These vehicles should be banned from residential areas and parked at their depots or in designated industrial areas.

My cul-de-sac has become like an industrial estate with commercial vehicles dotted around the road. Maintenance work and vehicle washing, sometimes late at night, are being carried out on private driveways and on the road. Some thing that is more suited to an industrial estate setting and such activity must contravene property deeds.

Parking on pavements has also become rife, posing dangers to pedestrians, particularly mums with pushchairs, being forced to walk on the road. Blind people can walk into this vehicles with frightening consequences.Parking on pavements also reduces the width of the road, making it very difficult for wide emergency vehicles to get through.

It is about time there was a nationwide ban on parking on pavements.

This might be unpopular but time is also coming for vehicle tax to be increased on those owning two or more cars.

Our roads are not designed to cope with the huge influx of cars which are now creating a metal to metal landscape in our residential areas. It is obvious that there is not enough room for all these vehicles cluttering up these residential areas and stopping the emergency services going about their life saving business. Action should be taken soon before lives are lost.