THE announcement that South West Ambulance Trust is providing two new ambulances in Gloucestershire has been welcomed by the leader of Cotswold District Council.

But Councillor Lynden Stowe said while the new vehicles based at Stroud and Staverton was good news, he believes it will have little impact on response times in the district, particularly in the north.

He is now due to meet both the Chairman and Chief Executive of the Ambulance Trust at the end of June to press for three more ambulances in the Cotswolds.

“I continue to be dismayed at the poor ambulance response times across the Cotswolds, particularly in the rural areas," he said.

"Obviously any increase in the capacity of the service in the county as a whole is welcome but I feel that these new ambulances at Staverton and Stroud will not really address the lack of resources in our district, and specifically the northern parts.

"What happens is that ambulances that are normally stationed in the Cotswolds are diverted elsewhere as soon as they have dropped off patients at either Cheltenham General or Gloucestershire Royal hospitals, leaving huge tracts of the Cotswolds without any available cover.

“This Council and the County Council have already raised concerns about this issue and have unanimously backed calls to improve the situation.

"At CDC we will continue to lobby for extra resources and I hope that the meeting I have arranged with both the Chairman and Chief Executive of the Ambulance Trust at the end of June will produce results specifically for the Cotswolds."

Latest figures for the county shows the eight minute response target is being reached across Gloucestershire in 69.4 per cent of cases.

But response times in the Cotswolds are much lower at just 46 per cent.

Cllr Stowe is now calling for people to support the online campaign at for three more ambulances in the Cotswolds ahead of his meeting.

Last week, Gloucestershire County Council unanimously backed a motion calling for improvements to ambulance response times.

South Western Ambulance Service NHS Foundation Trust said it is working hard with partners to improve its performance in some rural parts of the county.