Burnley have become the first football club in the country to install security barriers to protect fans from potential terrorist attacks. The temporary barriers, which were first used outside Turf Moor for Saturday’s Premier League game with Swansea, prevent drivers from ramming vehicles into supporters making their way to the ground. There have been numerous incidents where vehicles have been used for fatal attacks during the past few years, including in London, Nice and Barcelona.
According to the Burnley Express1 , the British-designed barriers, installed by events management company StadiumTM on behalf of the football club, allow pedestrians, cyclists and wheelchair users to pass through and can be dropped in under 30 seconds to enable access for the emergency services.
The barriers prevent drivers from ramming vehicles into supporters making their way to Turf Moor (Image: Jan Kruger)
David McAtamney, managing director of StadiumTM, said: Keeping crowds and public spaces safe during an event is paramount, and following shocking vehicle attacks across the globe including here in the UK we wanted to be at the forefront of bringing effective barrier systems to public events.
HVM barriers are the most recent addition to the services we offer and we were pleased to work with Burnley Football Club to install these at their home game against Swansea City.
The safety of fans is the club s highest priority and they were keen to become the first football team to use this innovative security method . The barriers are a temporary security measure which not only acts as a deterrent, but can also arrest and stop vehicles . We were able to quickly install and remove the barriers, and crowds entering and exiting Turf Moor were able to pass through them easily.
The amount of money spent protecting MPs has increased by more than 2 million since the murder of Jo Cox, figures have shown. Information published by the Independent Parliamentary Standards Authority (IPSA) shows that 170,576.24 was spent on security assistance in 2015/16. This sum increased 15-fold to 2,550,954.22 in 2016/17, IPSA said. Ruth Evans, chair of the authority, said: “Following the tragic events of June 2016, there was a big increase in the total expenditure on security, rising to 2.5 million during this year.
“It is important that we take the security of MPs, and that of their families and their staff, very seriously.” IPSA said a standard package of security measures is available to all MPs that has been recommended by security advisers and the police. Enhanced measures can be offered to MPs upon recommendation by the police, the authority added. Ms Cox was murdered by right-wing extremist Thomas Mair as she arrived to host a surgery in her Batley and Spen constituency last June.
Earlier this year, a coat of arms was unveiled in Parliament to honour the Labour MP.
Inspired by her maiden speech, the plaque bears the motto “More in Common”, with elements to show off her love of rivers and mountains and her support for women, as well as four red roses to represent each of her family members, two red for Labour and two white for Yorkshire.
The moment the news broke on Halloween that an Uzbek in a rental truck had just killed eight people on New York s West Side cycle path, my heart sank . Now, you might think that any decent human being I marginally qualify would be profoundly saddened by the pointless murder of folks merely out enjoying a city s recreational facilities on a crisp autumn day . But that wasn t it. Or you might think since I spend a fair whack of the year in New York, where as usual I get everywhere by bike that I might be concerned about becoming a terrorist target myself . I use that bike path constantly in summer . Had the attack occurred earlier in the year, one of those victims could have been me . But that wasn t it, either.
Maybe this means I don t qualify as decent after all, but what plunged me into despair was the immediate certainty that the powers-that-be would rush to utterly destroy a vital transportation route in the name of protecting it. And wasn t I right . In fact, New York s heavy-handed security measures for that bike path, under way two days later, have proven even worse than I expected: more clumsy, more poorly thought-out, more visually grotesque, more damaging to the whole purpose of that pathway, and get this more dangerous.
Let s fill in the picture . Running the length of Manhattan alongside the Hudson River, the West Side bikeway is the busiest cycle route in North America . Officially, it s intermittently mixed use, but in practice it s entirely mixed use . Runners, the weaving walkers praying over mobiles and the parents with strollers the size of five-bed caravans never notice that the city has built them an entire parallel walkway, replete with comely landscaping, where their dreamy ambling would not impede two-wheelers who actually need to get somewhere. Pathway crowding has grown vastly more intense since the introduction of thousands of Citi Bikes, which tourists prefer to ride in chatty phalanxes of five across . Thus even before this horrific Halloween trick, for commuting cyclists to keep up a steady clip on a two-way, 10ft-wide path required the driving dexterity of Steve McQueen in Bullitt.
Yet in pursuit of that eternally receding Valhalla of perfect safety, New York authorities have now inserted massive concrete blockers at 56 intersections in the five miles from W .
59th Street to the Battery, the bikeway s most heavily travelled segment . Some bright spark originally demanded that these 10ft-long, 2ft-wide barriers be angled to obstruct entire lanes, but now adjacent pairs of these monsters sit in the middle of the path with squat orange barrels at either end, leaving barely enough room on each side for a single bicycle to thread through these pinch points , in transport jargon . Those wide-load strollers will never fit. Before Halloween, I d already had plenty of brushes with mortality on this jam-packed thoroughfare, and had witnessed multiple bike accidents of a most grisly nature . Now that the artery looks like the aftermath of an asteroid collision, cyclists trying to get to work on time are bound to rack up more casualties than Isis ever could . It would actually be safer to break out the diggers and crack the path into landfill .
Either that, or cyclists return to the taxis, buses, lorries, and hot-dog carts on 10th and 11th Avenues, leaving the so-called bikeway to the tourists on foot, who can pick their way between the boulders as if visiting the set of a disaster movie. Although Mayor de Blasio claims this obstacle course is a short-term solution , in my experience the average short-term solution lasts about as long as the Appian Way. Municipal overreaction to single acts of terrorism is not restricted to New York . After the attack on London Bridge in June, overnight the Met plunked 2ft-wide, waist-high steel barriers along both sides of every major bridge across the Thames siting these crude, hideous metal walls smack in the bike lanes, so you could forgive cyclists for feeling a little picked-on . In London, too, gigantic black hostile vehicle mitigation measures chunky, disc-shaped monstrosities that jar glaringly with the historical architecture have cropped up like evil robotic mushrooms around Hyde Park Corner, Buckingham Palace, and St James s Park.
And never mind us whinge-bag cyclists . Security barriers in response to the terrorism-on-the-cheap vehicular fad are installed with no consideration for motorists, either . Like many other carelessly butchered intersections, the pinch point on Birdcage Walk backs up traffic for blocks. Right, government must do something , or at least be seen to . Yet officialdom s response to an individual incident is too often conceived in a spirit of hysteria, with a short-sighted eye to preventing another attack that hews to the exact specifics of the last one .
But cities have not been designed to protect their populations from homicidal drivers . The measures required to stop vehicles mounting the pavement altogether would entail civic vandalism on an aesthetically disastrous and economically ruinous scale . Yes, take a few precautions to reduce obvious vulnerabilities where crowds gather, but only after intelligent consideration of tasteful options that preserve functionality . Instead we are clogging our cities with permanent Brutalist monuments to the power of the malevolent accelerator. Overkill safety measures (see: airport security) constitute terrorism s most enduring triumph .
As the Uzbek recovered from an NYPD gunshot wound after his rampage, hospital staff reported that the rejoicing Sayfullo Saipov felt accomplished .
Should that cretin get a look at my bike path now strewn with cement cubes, barrels and barriers that stop not only hostile vehicles but everyone else he would feel only more so.