02:30AM, Monday 15 July 2013
A plan to let Windsor keep its own fire engine after a decade long battle seems set to get the final go-ahead on Wednesday.
It is 18 months now since a deal was struck between the Royal Borough and Royal Berkshire Fire and Rescue Service, enabling a fire engine to remain based in the town.
The fire authority needs to sell Windsor's fire station in St Mark's Road to finance improvements in Wokingham and initially planned to leave the town without its own engine.
A nearly 10 year battle ended with a deal hammered out in September, 2011 - under which the borough agreed to provide space for an engine on the site of its depot in Tinkers Lane.
The last hurdle should be cleared on Wednesday when planning councillors are expected to give the go-ahead for the new station to be built.
It is hoped the new fire station will be operating in Windsor by autumn with shifts changing at 9am and 6pm. An engine coming from Slough will bring the crews into and out of Windsor at the beginning and end of each shift.
But already concerns are being expressed, following the revelation that Windsor fire station was unmanned on Thursday and Friday last week - raising concerns that not enough firefighters have been allocated to Slough Fire Station to man the Windsor appliance.
Independent councillor Malcolm Beer (Ind, Old Windsor) is also concerned at the time of the shift changes, saying: "The engine will be out of commission for a long period snarled up in the school run and rush hour traffic jams."
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