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Friday, June 27, 2008

No X-Ray machines at London Underground Stations

The Guardian reported that (not really surprisingly) plans to install airport-style x-ray machines in every Tube and mainline rail stations across the UK were ruled out. This was because passengers might find the delays caused by this a tad inconvenient and it would lead to "passenger rebellion". A trial at five unspecified locations over the past six months found that airport-style checks would be impractical and antagonise the public.

"The transport minister, Tom Harris, said the public would not accept the resulting delays and there would be objections about personal privacy if an extensive screening regime was introduced.

"Screening equipment and dogs can be effective in the railway environment," said Harris in a written statement to parliament.
"However, given the very large passenger flows and thousands of entry points on the UK rail and underground networks, 100% airport-style screening is currently not feasible."

Even back in 2005 after the July bombing attacks it was thought to be impractical then. A Transport for London spokesperson told Metro in October 2005 "Body scanners are completely impractical on the London Underground. Heathrow handles 67.1 million passengers each year - London Underground carries 976 million.

"You can just imagine the delays if such technology was introduced on the Tube. We are constantly reviewing technology to see what could be potentially employed - but body scanners are not an option for us. Our stations just don't have room for them"

This isn't to say that people don't want some form of security. Yesterday Phil Trendall, from the British Transport Police, said: "The public are broadly supportive of the need for security measures."

Transport Police at Leicester Square Tube Station with Sniffer Dogs

From Thursday you might notice more sniffer dogs and special x-ray machines to screen bags will be used at a "handful" of stations.

Thanks to Jon for giving me the heads up to this.

; Posted by annie mole Friday, June 27, 2008 Permalink COMMENT HERE