Less than two-thirds of Northamptonshire's on-call fire engines available during an emergency

Fire engines in Northamptonshire are finding it harder to reach emergencies in good time because of the growth in traffic, towns and villages.

Northamptonshire Fire and Rescue Service (NFRS) is assessing how well it can respond to risks in the county as part of a new 'fire plan'.

A new 'fire plan' has been prepared for the county's fire service over the next three years.

A new 'fire plan' has been prepared for the county's fire service over the next three years.

But as part of this, the service has revealed the average response time to reach incidents has increased over the past 20 years, in line with how fire stations across the country are being affected.

The average response time to attend any incident is now around 10 minutes and 32 seconds.

The service says this has increased up from less than 10 minutes in 2012 because of increasing traffic volume and how towns and villages are more built up than ever.

Meanwhile, less than two-thirds of on-call fire engines were available in Northamptonshire in a time of crisis in 2017/18.

Since 2009, the availability of on-call fire engines has dropped from over 90 per cent to just 57 per cent.

It comes as a cabinet meeting in February heard at times NFRS only had 12 of its 28 fire engines available, and the newest current appliance was 15 years old.

The service says addressing this is 'a priority', and is aiming to maintain a minimum of 14 fire engines going forward and rethink how they can respond to the needs of housing developments.

The plan goes in front of the police, fire and crime panel on April 4 as part of a new 'fire plan' to following the appointment of police, fire and crime commissioner Stephen Mold.