FIREFIGHTERS expressed concerns that the new Low Traffic Neighbourhood scheme would cause delays to their emergency response times.

Details from a Freedom of Information Request, seen by the Oxford Mail, revealed potential problems Oxfordshire Fire and Rescue Service had identified with the now installed LTNs in Church Cowley, Temple Cowley, and Florence Park.

In a chain of emails between Chris Barber, the community safety services directorate at the fire service, and the council, the fire service raised several ‘concerns’ about how the LTNs could affect emergency response attendance times.

The email from Mr Barber, dated January 15, states that the introduction of the LTN barriers in certain areas of Oxford would result in the ‘current’ response time standards of 11 minutes, having to ‘be extended’.

Road closures and new routes were listed as reasons why the fire service would need to extend its attendance time standards.

The council has said in response to the concerns revealed in the FOI, that the attendance time has not had to be extended.

A spokesperson for the council said: “Oxfordshire County Council has been working directly with the fire service to address any concerns that they raised including what Chris Barber asked.

“The fire brigade has not had to extend the time it takes to reach destinations behind LTN measures as they are fully aware of where the roadblocks are and their journeys account for this under standard response times.”

The revelations come as concerned locals shared images of a fire engine appearing to be ‘stuck’ at the LTN bollard on Temple Road last Friday.

Eyewitnesses claimed that two fire engines could not pass through the bollard, causing each vehicle to reverse back up the road.

A spokesperson from Oxfordshire County Council, who implemented the LTN scheme, said this ‘was not the case’.

The statement said: “We were made aware yesterday of an image on social media that seemed to indicate a fire and rescue vehicle was unable to access certain roads, due to LTN bollards in the Cowley area.

“This wasn’t the case.

“The vehicle needed to turn around and was driven towards the nearest junction – the location of the LTN bollards – to make the manoeuvre.

“We think this is when the photo was taken.”

The council added that fire service is aware of the bollard locations.