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Friday, July 22, 2005

Travel Updates following yesterday's attacks

The travel situation is obviously still disrupted due to yesterday's detonations. At the moment, as you'd expect - Oval and Warren Street stations are closed and also the whole of the Hammersmith and City Line is closed.

Most other closed stations and partly suspended lines because of attacks on the 7th July are still in place. The
press release about travel on Transport for London's site is unfortunately quite long. There's likely to be lots of security alerts and closures today too as people are quite rightly extra vigilant and will be report any suspect bags or packages. In fact Tottenham Court Road station was closed this morning and has just reopened. Transport for London advise everyone to either to "check the latest travel information for their routes by calling TfL travel information on 020 7222 1234 or visiting www.tfl.gov.uk/tube/travelinfo", which is sensible advice today.

Rail Unions concerned over safety issues

In the meantime Ken Livingstone will be meeting London Underground staff today in his usual weekly meeting with them. On the agenda definitely will be the fact that some drivers have been refusing to take out tube trains as they had safety concerns.

RMT union leader Bob Crow said staff had expected the entire Tube network to be shut down yesterday, which is what happened on July the 7th following the earlier bombings.

"At the emergency meeting we were told that lines apparently unaffected by the attacks should continue running.

"We will be discussing these issues further when we meet the Mayor, but the RMT has made it quite clear that any LU worker who refuses to work in these circumstances on the grounds of safety will have the complete support of the union."

Mr Crow paid tribute to the "professionalism and commitment" of LU workers who helped to evacuate Tube stations. See The Evening Standard's site for the full story.

New York Subway issue Random Bag Checks

You've probably also heard the news that police are beginning random bag searches on the New York subway to step up security measures in the light of the second London Underground bombings.

The announcement drew complaints from civil liberties advocates in a city where more than four million passengers ride the subway on an average weekday (by comparison about three million use the London Underground each day). The New York subway has more than 468 stations.

However, according to The New York Times most commuters grudgingly accept the inconvenience and I'm sure the same would happen in London if a random search was introduced. As the article says:

"For some, the prospect of the police stopping people randomly, peering into their bags and waving them on seemed to be just another nuisance. In a system where the up escalator so often seems to be broken, where trains always seem to run late when the appointment is most urgent and where the rats seem determined to jump from track bed to platform, how much difference could an occasional bag check make?".......

"Many riders were more reserved in their judgments, and less inclined to question the motives of the police, but were clearly not convinced that a cunning terrorist could be stopped by random baggage checks. The police made clear yesterday that no one would be required to submit to the inspections, and people could simply decide not to enter the subway."

; Posted by Unknown Friday, July 22, 2005 Permalink COMMENT HERE