New South Shields transport hub undergoes security review to counter threat of terrorism

Security around South Tyneside's planned new multi-million pound transport hub is being reviewed to counter the threat of terrorism, it has been confirmed.

Wednesday, 7th February 2018, 5:00 am
Updated Wednesday, 7th February 2018, 6:40 am
An artist's impression of how the new interchange will look.

Council bosses are working with partners to assess any new measures needed to protect the public at the South Shields town centre interchange.

It comes after the government issued fresh guidelines around Britain’s transport centres in the wake of recent terror attacks in the UK and Europe.

Local authorities are being urged to work with counter terror experts, including police, to ensure areas immediately outside stations and other transport centres are secure.

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Guidance includes eliminating areas of concealment, improving lighting and the best placement of street furniture, such as bins and bicycle racks.

The location and coverage of CCTV is also part of Department for Transport (DfT) guidance published in October.

Today, South Tyneside Council confirmed it was working with developer Muse and transport operator Nexus on the review.

A spokesman added: “We, alongside our partners Muse and Nexus, are currently reviewing security guidance issued by the Department for Transport in relation to the forthcoming transport interchange.”

The council took part in what it describes as a ‘resilience workshop’ with Northumbria Police before the first phase of the three-stage £100m South Shields 365 development started.

Phase one - the building of The Word library and modernisation of the market place and riverside near the ferry landing – has been completed.

The second phase, which includes developments around Fowler Street and Keppel Street, are now ongoing.

The creation of a state-of-the-art rail and bus transport hub, which is expected to start in the spring, forms part of this phase.

Phase three will consist of a new retail and leisure development, work on which is planned for autumn of 2019.

The DfT says councils, alongside the security services, police, and transport operators, have a key part to play in ensuring public spaces adjacent to stations do not provide attractive terrorist targets.

It says terrorists have been known to target street environments that are both open and crowded places.

Its guidance aims to help local authorities contribute to the safety and security of people using or nearby stations, through appropriate management of adjacent public areas.

In a document, it states: “Taking proportionate security measures should be integral to the planning and delivery of new developments and substantive retrofits.

“Crime includes terrorism, and good counter terrorism protective security is also good crime prevention.

“Having effective security measures in place will contribute to wider public safety and confidence.”