London installs protective barriers on bridges

Police officers on the Millenium Bridge mingle with members of the public on Sunday following a Saturday night attack in the nearby London Bridge. Photo by Hugo Philpott/UPI

June 5 (UPI) — Officials in London installed barriers on bridges to protect pedestrians from future terror attacks days after a van mowed down pedestrians on London Bridge.

The barriers, made of concrete and metal, were installed at Lambeth Bridge, London Bridge, Waterloo Bridge and Westminster Bridge. Transport for London said the bridges closed during installation early Monday but most have reopened.

Nickie Aiken, leader of Westminster Council, said she believes the Westminster Bridge barriers should be permanent installations.

“People in Westminster need this kind of protective measure — it is sensible and proportionate,” Aiken said. “We are working closely with the Metropolitan police and security services and are happy to assist on measures like planning and traffic management … The kind of security barrier now in place on Westminster Bridge needs to be part of a permanent solution.”

One day before the attack on Saturday, the City of London Corporation, the city’s municipal governing body, said there were no plans to install barriers on London Bridge.

“There are currently no plans for the provision of barriers or bollards to be deployed at London Bridge,” a COLC spokesperson told The Sun.

On Saturday, at least seven people were killed by three masked men who drove a white van into pedestrians on the London Bridge, then leaped out and stabbed several people at Borough Market’s nearby bars and restaurants. The suspects were shot dead. The Islamic State took responsibility for the attack.

London’s Metropolitan Police said officers have so far arrested at least 12 people and said the identities of the three men who launched the attack would be revealed Monday.

London Ambulance Services said five London hospitals took in 48 patients, 21 of whom were in critical condition.

Security also has been increased at London hospitals but the National Health Service said services were operating as normal. The first victim named in Saturday’s attack has been identified as 30-year-old Christine Archibald, a Canadian citizen.

On March 22, five people were killed by after 52-year-old British-born Khalid Masood drove a car into pedestrians on Westminster Bridge, then fatally stabbed a police officer. Masood was shot dead.

Meanwhile, politicians resumed campaigning Monday ahead of Britain’s general election on Thursday following a suspension in honor of the victims.


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