London fire ‘safety’ plan will slow down response times for Redbridge emergencies

Hainault fire station.

Hainault fire station. - Credit: Archant

Fire engines will arrive slower than target times in most parts of Redbridge if sweeping changes “intended to improve safety” go ahead, according to London Fire Brigade predictions.

The first engine will take more than the target six minutes to arrive in 11 out of 21 wards, including Clayhall, where people may have to wait 8mins 18secs and Wanstead at 7mins 18secs.

Average response times in the wards are already missing targets but will be slower in most places if the plans are brought in.

Second fire engines, which are not always needed, will arrive slower than target in 10 wards.

In Wanstead, the waiting time will rise by more than one minute – from 7mins 31secs to 8mins 46secs.

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Engines will also be more than a minute slower to Snaresbrook but still under the target of eight minutes.

The modelling was done for the whole of London as part of the consultation on the Draft Fifth London Safety Plan.

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The Fire Brigades’ Union, politicians and campaign groups have objected to proposals to close 12 London fire stations to save £28.8million.

Redbridge fire stations will not be affected under current plans but nearby stations in Chingford, Leyton and Leytonstone will each lose one of their two fire engines - meaning Redbridge firefighters may have to respond to their calls.

Around 520 firefighter posts would be cut and 18 fire engines removed.

A London Fire Brigade spokesman said response times are “varied” across the city.

She added: “As is the case now, over half of all London wards would, on average, continue to get a first response within the six minute target if the proposals are agreed. London would continue to receive a very good service, compared to other emergency services and other parts of the country.”

A consultation is open at until June 17.

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