HC Deb 26 May 2004 vol 421 cc1624-5W
Llew Smith

To ask the Secretary of State for Transport whether the mobile phones and walkie-talkie communications units issued to emergency personnel who would be called upon to deal with a terrorist incident on the London Underground have the capability to work underground. [175081]

Mr. McNulty

British Transport Police (BTP) are responsible for policing on London Underground and would be amongst the first to respond to a terrorist incident on the Underground network. BTP officers have two hand-held radios, one for below ground and one for above.

Metropolitan Police radios work on two thirds of the London Underground network. In responding to a terrorist incident, or other emergency, on the Underground, the Metropolitan Police would work closely with BTP, and most of its responsibility would be at the surface. In the event that Metropolitan Police officers were required to operate on the sections of the Underground network where their radios do not work, they would be able to communicate from below ground through BTP's radios. They would also receive communications support from London Underground staff.

London Fire Brigade officers carry hand-held radios that work on the London Underground by means of fixed extension aerials in place in all deep level Underground stations. If required to work underground in environments where such fixed aerials are not installed, London Fire Brigade officers are able to deploy portable cable aerials enabling the radios to operate underground.

All London Ambulance Service command vehicles carry portable cable aerials enabling London Ambulance Service radios to operate on the London Underground and other below ground environments.

Mr. Clifton-Brown

To ask the Secretary of State for Transport what plans there are to provide training for all public transport workers in case of a serious emergency. [174680]

Mr. McNulty

This is primarily a matter for each operator. London Underground, the rail and bus industries have already circulated advice to all front line staff. In addition, the Department requires London Underground to have contingency plans to deal with situations that could effect the security of its operations. These must be accessible at all times to staff at stations, so that they are fully aware of what to do in such situations, and be exercised regularly. We have made similar recommendations to all Train Operating Companies.

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