PASSENGERS at Liverpool’s Lime Street station face airport-style searches and bag-screening, under swingeing new anti-terror measures unveiled yesterday.
And security barriers, vehicle exclusion zones and blast-resistant buildings will be introduced at airports, ports and up to 250 of the busiest train stations, Gordon Brown announced.
The Prime Minister immediately acknowledged that passengers would endure “some inconvenience” from stepping up security.
But he insisted more must be done to protect against terror attacks, telling MPs: “There is no greater priority than the safety and security of our people.”
The new strategy – which follows the failed bomb attacks in London and Glasgow Airport in June – pledges bag-screening machines and searches at “some large rail stations”.
The Home Office confirmed this meant stations in big cities such as Liverpool, adding: “The attack at Glasgow showed that it is not just stations in London that need to be protected.”
Mobile units are likely to be put in when the security risk is heightened.
A list of the 250 busiest stations, to be assessed for barriers, exclusion zones and blast-resistant design, includes Liverpool Central, Southport, Warrington and Chester.
A spokesman for Network Rail said: “As we operate and manage a number of large stations, including Liverpool Lime Street, we obviously follow the advice of government and police regarding security measures.”
Ken Gibbs, communications manager for Virgin Trains – one of the main train operating companies at Lime Street – said: “We will work together with Network Rail and ATOC (the Association of Train Operating Companies) to make a workable scheme.”
Meanwhile, major football clubs, such as Liverpool and Everton, have been warned to consider the threat from car bombs, chemical and biolog-ical attack and suicide bom-bers. It suggests that cars should be searched, blast-resistant windows installed, and food and drink supplies checked for “dirty bombs”.
Advice sent to big shopping centres, such as St John’s, in Liverpool, includes the introduction of bag-screening as a “last resort”.
But the one-bag rule for air passengers will be scrapped at major airports with boosted security on January 7.
In the Commons, Mr Brown said the review, drawn up by security minister Lord West, had identified no “major failures”, but updated advice was needed to keep visitors to high-profile sites safe.
Guidance will be sent to cinemas, restaurants, hotels, theatres, sporting venues, shopping centres, hospitals, schools and churches.
Mr Brown said: “Companies responsible for crowded places will be given updated and more detailed advice on how they can improve their resilience against attack.”
A total of 160 counter-terrorism advisers will train staff to identify suspect activity, ensure emergency exits are available and make best use of CCTV footage.
And neighbourhood police teams will be trained in combating “radicalisation” in their communities.
READ more news from the Liverpool Daily Post