London Bridge security barriers ruled out 24 hours before terrorists struck

'No current plans' to install security measures at scene of terror attack, according to officials 

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The Independent Online

Calls are growing for authorities to provide better protection for pedestrians on the streets of London after it emerged that a van carrying three terrorists was able to reach speeds of more than 50mph before hitting members of the public on London Bridge.

The suspected extremists involved in Saturday night's attack are believed to have run over and killed at least one victim after mounting the pavement on the bridge in their white van, before speeding south towards a crowd of people, just after 10pm. 

And it has since been reported that the City of London Corporation (COLC), the capital's municipal governing body, ruled out installing bollards or security railings in the London Bridge area less than 24 hours before the attack.

Six others died after the attackers crashed their vehicle into a balustrade near Southwark Cathedral and then stabbed members of the public with large knives.

:: Follow latest live updates after deadly London attack

The trio were shot dead by armed police less than eight minutes after the first emergency call - but by then 48 other victims had been injured, and some left a critical condition. 

News of the London Bridge atrocity, coming so soon after a similar attack in Westminster, triggered calls for security measures to be installed on the historic bridge - but COLC revealed it has "no current plans" to do so on Friday. 

In an email reported by The Sun, a COLC spokeswoman said: “There are currently no plans for the provision of barriers or bollards to be deployed at London Bridge.”

The attack came less than three months after Khalid Masood mowed down scores of people in a four by four on Westminster Bridge, killing four and leaving more than 50 injured before he was shot dead on 22 March. 

Security barriers were installed outside Buckingham Palace following that incident. 

After the London Bridge attack on Saturday, social media users complained that pedestrians were not being protected.

Tom Buckley tweeted: "Terrible scenes at London Bridge. However security there has been shocking since Westminster attack. No bollards, nothing. Joke.#sittingduck."

US journalist Paul Sperry added: "Repeat of Westminster Bridge. Able to build speeds 50 mph+ b/c no bollards/barriers on London Bridge sidewalk itself, just b/t street & walk."

And charity worker Samuel Carvalho said: "I imagine major London bridges/heavily pedestrianised areas are going to need some form or railing or bollards in the future? #Londonbridge."