Fire engines will no longer travel down side streets in the Holyland to attend incidents due to the increasing amount of cars parked there, local residents have been told.

A Fire and Rescue Service representative told attendees at a Holyland Residents’ Association meeting in the City Church last Tuesday (September 27) that because of parked cars blocking both sides of streets off the main Agincourt and University avenues, their appliances would no longer be able to get to any potential events there.

It means roads such as Palestine Street and Carmel Street will now be left unattended, with fire engines forced to park on the main avenues should incidents occur there.

Residents’ spokesperson Liam Kielty said it could result in “a fatal situation” if a major fire broke out in one of the side streets.

“We have always complained about the parking here, from people just abandoning cars to the lack of space it leaves people to walk or drive about the Holyland, but now it’s actually impinging on the health and safety of people here and potentially even their lives.

“It seems we have been talking about this for a while but now the Fire Service have realised we are talking sense and this issue has been brought to a head.” Liam said residents had suggested several options in order to solve the situation.

“As a group we are going to go to the Roads Service and see if there is anything we can do in terms of maybe getting double yellow lines put down one side of the streets in question because the implications at the moment are terrible.

“We will also need to get any traffic rules enforced, because ultimately they never really have been in the university area. It is crucial we get this sorted because the fire engines are for our aid and the simple fact is if this situation remains the same, there will be dozens of houses that they can’t service.”

A Fire Service spokesperson said the organisation had an “ongoing problem” with parking in the Holyland.

“At the meeting, local firefighters highlighted that both irresponsible parking and the sheer volume of cars parked in the area could have the potential to hinder response times for fire appliances attending emergency incidents.

“We would appeal to local residents and in particular students living in that area to ensure they are parking their vehicles sensibly and not blocking access for appliances.”