Workers begin learning to live with checkpoints: Guns and cones come out to guard the City against IRA terror as police throw tight security cordon around the Square Mile

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The Independent Online
AS THE first elements of a new security cordon were put in place yesterday, workers in the Square Mile were phlegmatic about the City's latest attempt to deter terrorism.

The checkpoints at each of the principal entrances to the City are the response by the Corporation and the police to the two large bomb attacks by the IRA in the past 15 months.

Most City workers quizzed in a straw poll by the Independent approved of the measures and said they were prepared to live with the disruption to traffic if the terrorists were kept at bay.

Ron Rice, a newspaper vendor, echoed the views of many, believing that Underground users such as himself would not be affected by the roadblocks.

But Jeremy Ryder, a banker who commutes from Hertfordshire, feared that British Rail would not be able to cope with increased demand as more people abandoned their cars.

'But I suppose it's a good thing if it discourages people bringing their cars into the City,' he added.

Mary Trench, a secretary in an insurance firm, said any measures to deter the terrorists should be supported. But Justin Roberts, who travels from Balham, south London, to work in a recruitment consultancy, feared the action might be seen by the IRA as a bigger challenge that it would want to take up.

Luca Visentini, an Italian tourist sightseeing in the City, said that extra security measures would be reassuring for visitors but that the danger of terrorist attack in London had not occurred to him.

The security scheme, which will be in place by Monday morning, involves closing 18 routes into the City and restricting access to eight points, including one exclusively for buses and taxis.

(Photograph omitted)