Firefighters in Worcester took nearly a minute longer to reach the most serious fires last year, amid a backdrop of rising response times nationally.

Home Office data reveals that the Hereford and Worcester Fire and Rescue Service took an average of 11 minutes and 22 seconds to reach primary fires in 2018-19. That's an increase of 55 seconds since 2017-18.

Primary fires are the most serious, with the potential to harm people or cause damage to property.

Total response times for England’s fire and rescue services are measured by the time elapsed between the first call and the arrival of the first vehicle to the incident.

In Hereford and Worcester, during 2018-19, call handling took an average of one minute and 45 seconds, while crew turnout took around two minutes and 18 seconds.

Driving to the scene took up most of the service’s response time, with the average journey to primary fires taking seven minutes and 20 seconds – seven seconds quicker than in 2017-18.