London terror attack: Security barriers installed on three bridges in capital

Concrete and metal fences put in place overnight on Waterloo, Westminster and Lambeth bridges

Katie Forster
Monday 05 June 2017 12:46
New barriers have been installed on Westminster Bridge, where 52-year-old Khalid Masood drove a car into pedestrians on 22 March
New barriers have been installed on Westminster Bridge, where 52-year-old Khalid Masood drove a car into pedestrians on 22 March

Security barriers have been installed between the road and pavement on three London bridges following the London Bridge terror attack.

New concrete and metal fences were put in place overnight on Waterloo, Westminster and Lambeth bridges, confirmed Transport for London (TfL).

The precautionary measure has been taken after seven people were killed and 49 injured in the deadly van and knife attack on Saturday night.

A pedestrian walks past barriers on Westminster Bridge

Three attackers rammed a van into pedestrians on London Bridge before stabbing revellers in bars in the nearby Borough Market.

The atrocity, claimed by Isis, is the third terror attack to hit Britain in less than three months after a similar assault on Westminster Bridge and the Manchester Arena suicide bombing.

On 22 March, attacker Khalid Masood drove a hired car into crowds on Westminster Bridge, killing three members of the public.

Two other people – a policeman he stabbed and a tourist knocked into the Thames – also died in the incident, and Masood himself who was shot by police.

Vehicles have also been used to commit terror attacks in other European cities including Nice, where a truck killed 86 people when drove into a crowd on 14 July last year, and Berlin, where 12 died after a truck drove into a Christmas market on 19 December.

The Metropolitan Police said the white Renault van that mounted the pavement and hit pedestrians during the London Bridge incident had recently been hired by one of the attackers.

Eyewitnesses reported seeing several people lying injured on the pavement or the middle of the road, after a white van began mowing people down some time after 10pm.

The suspects then made their way to Borough Market and started attacking people with people with knives. There were reports of Londoners, out for a Saturday night, fending off the attackers with chairs and glasses.

Van hits pedestrians in London Bridge

A taxi driver, speaking the BBC, described the moment when it became clear that terrorists were attacking the city.

“A van came from London Bridge itself, went between the traffic light system and rammed it towards the steps,“ he said.

“It knocked loads of people down. Then three men got out with long blades, 12 inches long and went randomly along Borough High Street, stabbing people at random.”

There is a heavier police presence on the capital's streets and London Bridge was closed on Sunday but reopened on Monday morning as people made their way to work.

The leader of Westminster council said the barriers should remain in place permanently.

“People in Westminster need this kind of protective measure – it is sensible and proportionate,” Nickie Aiken told the Evening Standard. “The kind of security barrier now in place on Westminster Bridge needs to be part of a permanent solution.”

The City of London Corporation (COLC), the capital's municipal governing body, reportedly ruled out installing bollards or security railings in the London Bridge area less than 24 hours before the attack.

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.”

Security barriers were installed outside Buckingham Palace following the Westminster attack.

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."

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