BEXLEY fire station has avoided the chop after previously being earmarked for closure.

The London Fire Brigade (LFB) last week announced 12 stations across London are set for closure including Downham and New Cross with 520 redundancies.

However, Bexley has survived the cull, despite earlier suggestions it could be closed.

Commissioner for the LFB Ron Dobson presented the draft Fifth London Safety Plan on January 11 which contained updated proposals intended to save £28.8m over the next two years while maintaining response targets.

Although it is thought 520 firefighter and officer jobs will be lost, Mr Dobson said "no compulsory redundancies were planned".

He added: "I am bracing myself for difficult discussions with the LFB Union over the next few weeks.

"However no lives will be put at risk by these changes."

London Fire and Emergency Planning Authority members will discuss the plan on January 21 and a final decision is expected to be made at the authority meeting on June 20 following a public consultation.

The LFB originally suggested the Bexley facility in Erith Road could close as part of cost-cutting measures announced by London Mayor Boris Johnson.

There are three fire stations in the borough including another in Erith Road and one in Sidcup Main Road with 152 employees.

Last year saw a 13 per cent drop in fire engine call-outs in the borough.