Plans to introduce permit parking in a narrow alley will do nothing to address safety problems, a bar manager has said.

Jamie Garwood, who runs Switch bar in George Lane, South Woodford, had to put out a small fire at the rear of the property after a fire engine was unable to get past parked cars to deal with the blaze in Station Passage last month.

The owners of Switch contacted their local councillors about the issue and called on them to press for a ban on parking in the alley.

Roding councillors Gwyneth Deakins, Felicity Banks and Ian Bond, have spoken to council officers about the issue.

They say officers are launching a public consultation on plans to introduce permit parking in Station Passage.

But Mr Garwood said: “We don’t want permits. There is no point consulting on this because it won’t solve the problem.

“It doesn’t matter if a car has a permit. If it’s parked in Station Passage then a fire engine won’t be able to get down.

“We want a ban on all parking except for vehicles which are loading and unloading and we made that quite clear.”

The proposed change would see permit restrictions introduced from 8.30am – 6.30pm Monday to Friday.

Mr Garwood said: “Even if they think permits will help, what about the times outside the restricted hours?

“It’s not as if fires don’t break out in the evening or at weekends. This is a serious problem. There could be a tragedy down here if an engine can't get down.”

The council will also consult residents about bringing a patch of land between nearby Primrose and Violet Roads into the existing South Woodford CPZ.

The land belongs to Redbridge’s housing department and was left out of the permit parking area because it is not a public highway.

But the Roding ward councillors say they have received complaints from residents that commuters are parking on the land and blocking access.

The Guardian is waiting to speak to the councillors and has asked Redbridge council to comment on the proposals.