Fire engines ready at last after costly modification

A Combined Aerial Ladder Platform.
A Combined Aerial Ladder Platform.
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TWO £500,000 fire engines which were too heavy for use on British roads have arrived in South Yorkshire after being modified at an additional cost of £350,000.

Fire chiefs bought four Combined Aerial Ladder Platforms in 2007 for £2 million but the vehicles sat idle for two years after it was discovered that they breached the weight limits for roads in the UK..

Bosses agreed to ship them to the Netherlands and pay £700,000 for them to be modified for use on UK roads.

Two of the appliances have now arrived back in South Yorkshire.

Firefighters are being trained to use them.

They combine a traditional fire engine with an aerial ladder platform to avoid two appliances having to be sent to the same incident.

The two remaining CARP vehicles are due to be returned to South Yorkshire by the end of the month.

A report to be discussed by South Yorkshire Fire Authority members this month says: “The remedial work has been successfully completed with all major issues around gross vehicle weight and vehicle functionality having been addressed.”

The CARPs will be brought into use in Barnsley and Doncaster by mid-March .

The other two will be used in Rotherham and Sheffield.

A fire service spokesman said: “We were badly let down by the original manufacturers who did not follow our specification and then went into administration.

“However, the vehicles are now completely fit for purpose and have passed stringent testing.”