Shocking statistics have revealed ambulance waiting times for the district's most serious casualties have almost tripled.

A Freedom of Information request by the Standard showed that the average response time of an ambulance, or transportable resource, to a life-threatening or severe injury or condition in the Maldon district has risen from eight minutes in January 2013 to 23 minutes in March 2014.

The average response time peaked at 32 minutes in March 2013.

The East of England Ambulance Service Trust's target for calls that deal with life-threatening incidents, such as cardiac arrests or trauma injuries, is eight minutes.

General Manager for North Essex Jason Gillingham said: “The figures focus on transportable ambulances which of course may not have been the first on scene.

"A community first responder or rapid response car may have been dispatched earlier to begin treatment prior to transfer to hospital.

“We did see a spike in these average transportable ambulance response times in March 2013 which could in part be attributed to the Easter break and a rise in demand we saw in that time, but otherwise waits for an ambulance were about 15-20 minutes on average for the rest of the year."