Town hall’s £250,000 anti-ter­ror plan

Glossop Advertiser - - News - Char­lotte Green

ANTI-TER­ROR de­fences could soon be on streets in Tame­side after the coun­cil set aside £250,000 to protect pedes­tri­ans from be­ing ‘mowed down’.

A sur­vey of 250 schools and places of wor­ship will be car­ried out to iden­tify places that ‘may be at risk’ from driv­ers de­lib­er­ately mount­ing the pave­ment as a ‘ter­ror­ist ac­tiv­ity’, Tame­side’s ex­ec­u­tive cab­i­net has agreed.

The town hall says it is ‘par­tic­u­larly im­por­tant’ to as­sess the most vul­ner­a­ble ar­eas with po­lice fol­low­ing the Manch­ester Arena at­tack in May last year. The move comes after two sep­a­rate ter­ror­ist at­tacks in Lon­don – in West­min­ster and Fins­bury Park – in which ve­hi­cles were used to de­lib­er­ately tar­get and kill pedes­tri­ans.

Streets that are vul­ner­a­ble to driv­ers ac­ci­den­tally mount­ing the pave­ment will also be as­sessed un­der the new mea­sures. Bol­lards, rail­ings, bar­ri­ers and trees have all been sug­gested as ways of pro­tect­ing peo­ple in crowded places and pre­vent­ing and de­ter­ring driv­ers mount­ing the kerb.

One mosque in the bor­ough has al­ready been pri­ori­tised for the scheme after a pedes­trian was killed by a speed­ing ve­hi­cle out­side the build­ing.

The scheme will also aim to im­prove safety out­side schools.

Coun­cil leader Brenda War­ring­ton sug­gested that bol­lards could be used to stop ‘some­body ram­ming a car into some­one’. Speak­ing at a cab­i­net meet­ing, she said: “We’re talk­ing about slightly dif­fer­ent po­ten­tial events, we’re talk­ing about par­ents be­ing in­con­sid­er­ate around schools when they’re ei­ther drop­ping off or col­lect­ing chil­dren, and on the other hand we’re talk­ing about po­ten­tial ter­ror­ist at­tacks where some­body is de­lib­er­ately mow­ing down peo­ple.”

Coun­cil bosses say first pri­or­ity will be given to ar­eas where pedes­trian ac­ci­dents have al­ready oc­curred. Emma Var­nam, as­sis­tant direc­tor for op­er­a­tions and neigh­bour­hoods, said: “The key thing is that we need to protect those pedes­tri­ans, both school­child­ren and wor­ship­pers, from harm – ei­ther ac­ci­den­tal car ac­ci­dents or cars that are go­ing out­side build­ings specif­i­cally at the end of a school day or, for in­stance, at the end of wor­ship time where lots of peo­ple are on the pave­ment fol­low­ing their ser­vice.

“This has been par­tic­u­larly im­por­tant fol­low­ing the Manch­ester Arena at­tack, we are work­ing with our col­leagues in Greater Manch­ester to look at some of our most vul­ner­a­ble ar­eas.”

Coun Al­li­son Gy­wnne, ex­ec­u­tive mem­ber for ‘Clean and Green’, added: “It’s try­ing to get that bal­ance, keep­ing the frontages safe but ac­ces­si­ble so there is good egress for pedes­tri­ans to be able to ac­cess a place of wor­ship, or a school, or a shop­ping cen­tre whilst de­sign­ing out some con­flict be­tween ve­hi­cle and pedes­tri­ans.”

Tame­side coun­cil leader Coun Brenda War­ring­ton

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