Firefighters have walked out of fire stations in Hyndburn for a fresh strike over their increasingly bitter dispute with the Government over pensions.

Thousands of members of the Fire Brigades Union are travelling to London to join a lunchtime rally in Westminster which will be addressed by MPs and union officials.

Firemen and women will later lobby MPs to press for support in their campaign against controversial changes to pensions and retirement age.

The 24-hour strike began at 7am on Wednesday, February 25 and bosses at Lancashire Fire and Rescue Service (LFRS) said staff are committed to maintaining ‘emergency cover’.

Chief Fire Officer Chris Kenny said: “This is a national dispute between the FBU and Government and is not a dispute between LFRS and our firefighters.

“We do have a significant number of our staff who have given a commitment to maintain emergency cover and as a result the public can be reassured that the service plan to keep fire engines in Lancashire operational during the dispute period.

“We would urge all members of the public to be extra vigilant however and be aware that for minor fires in particular, there may be a longer wait for a fire engine.

“I ask the public to take extra care to prevent a fire happening and encourage them to access the website we have set up to offer advice on how to do that at .”

The union said improvements to pension arrangements had been made in Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland, but an “unworkable” scheme was being imposed by the Westminster Government.

A Department for Communities and Local Government spokesman said: “Strike action is unnecessary and appears to be over a point which is a vast improvement on the 2006 scheme which required firefighters to work to 60 with no protection.

“We have been clear that firefighters get an unreduced pension or a job and have changed the national framework through a statutory instrument to do so. If fire authorities do not produce processes which yield this, the Secretary of State has said he will intervene.”