Page last updated at 09:20 GMT, Tuesday, 26 August 2008 10:20 UK

Fire inspectors travel by bicycle

John Foolkes in Luton and Len Allen in Bedford
John Foolkes in Luton and Len Allen in Bedford cycle to fire inspections

Fire officers inspecting business and commercial premises in Bedfordshire are travelling around by bicycle.

The move to abandon travel in cars with blue lights has been brought about by Bedfordshire and Luton Fire and Rescue Service's new "green" policy.

A further reason is the congestion they encounter on roads slows them down.

The bikes have the special fire logo on the framework and are used on inspections within a four mile radius of Bedford and Luton town centres.

Area fire safety manager Tim Birchall said: "Thousands of businesses are affected by the new Fire Safety Order regulations and we have already visited hundreds.

"To make this work more efficient we have climbed on board the 'go green' policy of Bedfordshire and Luton Fire and Rescue Service and are getting about much more quickly on two wheels.

"Businesses should be aware they have a statutory duty to comply with these fire regulations and we would rather be visiting them on our bikes than on our fire engines when their property is on fire."

Chief fire officer Paul Fuller said: "This is part of a service-wide approach towards energy conservation and helping the environment.

"There are a wide range of other iniatives in place to cut fuel costs and carbon emissions. The added advantage of cycling is it helps keep us all firefighting fit."




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