Volvo cars swapped for Skodas to save on fleet costs

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FIRE service managers in South Yorkshire are to have their Volvo cars replaced with Skodas because of concerns over the cost of the fleet.

Fire officers who have to attend emergency incidents using blue lights were given Volvos in 2007 and the vehicles are now coming up to their replacement date.

Although bosses stress the fleet was “sourced at extremely competitive prices” they fear there could be some concerns over the use of Volvos when the fire service has is facing massive Government funding cuts.

They have now decided to replace Volvos with Skodas, which will have a similar specification but which bosses believe will be seen as better value for money by the public.

At a recent meeting of South Yorkshire Fire Authority, which oversees the way the county’s fire service is run and funded, members agreed to change the cars but defended their use of Volvos over the past four years.

Beverley Sandy, Finance and Resources Director for South Yorkshire Fire and Rescue, said the cost of supplying Volvos had been similar to the amount it had cost to pay officers to keep their own cars available to attend emergencies in monthly allowances and mileage rates.

She also said that before the introduction of a fleet of cars there had been “considerable variation in the quality of vehicles owned and driven by officers to emergencies and it had proved difficult for them to be trained to drive under blue light conditions.”