CAMPAIGNERS have launched a petition against plans to close Ossett fire station – which they believe will put lives at risk in Ossett and Horbury.
Ossett Town Centre Partnership has been collecting signatures, backed by local political groups and community groups Building Ossett Better (BOB) and Ossett Civic Trust.
It is a response to plans announced by the West Yorkshire Fire and Rescue Authority to close the Dale Street station, which would result in firefighters taking an average of three-and-a-half minutes longer to get to fires in Ossett.
Response times would increase by nearly one-and-a-half minutes in Horbury.
David Smith, chairman of Ossett Town Centre Partnership (OTCP), said: “I think any firefighter would agree that an extra three-and-a-half minutes could cost lives.
“Our primary concern is extended response times in Ossett and Horbury. There are only two wards in the rest of West Yorkshire worse affected than Ossett.”
A new fire station would be built near the M1 junction 40 roundabout under the proposals, which have been introduced in order to save the fire service about £12m a year.
Coun Janet Holmes said: “This affects people in the Horbury area as well. But while I don’t like to see cuts, when you get budget reductions it does tend to mean cuts and the fire service should not be blamed for this.”
To sign an online version of the petition, visit http://epetitions.direct.gov.uk/pet itions/41259