Will Airport Style Screening Soon Be Used For Train Travel? [Headlines]

Will Airport Style Screening Soon Be Used For Train Travel? [Headlines]

The UK's Home Office is looking for technologies that can rapidly scan for explosives, guns, and chemical and biological materials, to be used in train stations and public transportation hubs.

Karen Baker
  • 21 august 2012


This article titled “Airport-style screening to be considered for train and tube stations” was written by Alan Travis, home affairs editor, for The Guardian on Sunday 19th August 2012 20.00 UTC

Fresh consideration is to be given to the introduction of airport-style mass security screening at mainline rail stations and across London’s tube network.

The Home Office has launched a search for new and emerging technologies that are capable of rapidly screening huge numbers of passengers and which could be used in major train and tube stations and across the tube network.

The new rail and tube screening technology is to be used to detect explosives, guns and knives, being carried by people and in bags, but would also need a capacity to spot chemical and biological materials. The screening equipment needs to be able to scan wheelchairs, prosthetics, crutches, pushchairs and bikes as well as people and their luggage.

The research brief for the Home Office centre for applied science and technology project says that the high volumes of passengers on the London Underground and national rail networks mean it is not possible to use traditional forms of checkpoint screening.

It says that while the stations can be defined as “crowded places”, there are locations where crowd movement is “semi-controlled”, such as at ticket barriers, queues, at the top and bottom of escalators and at platforms, which could prove suitable screening points.

The equipment may be fixed and built into the station furniture, or portable, to be used in different areas depending on passenger flow, threat level or intelligence.

The Department of Transport last carried out trials into the use of mass passenger screening at five mainline rail and tube stations in London in 2006 in the aftermath of the terrorist attacks on July 7 2005.

But research showed that while people were largely positive about the need to carry out the checks, they were not willing to accept major delays to their journey and wanted to ensure that their privacy was protected. People also preferred the use of sniffer-dogs to being singled out to go through an x-ray machine.

Transport ministers ruled out in June 2008 the use of airport-style screening of rail and underground systems, saying the technology then available meant it was not feasible to introduce 100% screening of such large passenger flows at the thousands of entry points on the UK rail and underground networks.

In taking the decision, the then transport minister, Tom Harris, said the public recognised the terrorist threat to the rail network and broadly supported the need for security measures, providing they were proportionate to the threat.

The current official UK threat level is at “substantial”, which means a terrorist attack is regarded as a strong possibility. It was downgraded from “severe”, which means a terrorist attack is highly likely, last July.

The Home Office expects the academic hunt for suitable new and emerging technologies to cope with the high volume of passengers involved will start next month, with results due next March. © Guardian News & Media Limited 2010

Published via the Guardian News Feed plugin for WordPress.


Why The Apple Watch Is Taking Foot In The Restaurant Industry

Food Today

Chef Turns Invasive Species Into Delicious Sushi

Creator Bun Lai is adapting strange new ingredients for his menu, which responds to the ecological impact of overabundant creatures in the local environment

Travel Today

Build Your Own Subway System In This Minimalist Game

Mini Metro lets you design your own fully functional transit network, simulating the flow of urban commuters with pared-down visuals


Get PSFK's Related Report: Future of Automotive

See All
Work Today

Keyboard Designed To Help Women Use More Assertive Language

The device is a commentary on gender roles in the workplace, and features easy access to "power verbs" that help reinforce a habit of being direct in writing

Arts & Culture Today

Spanish Artist Dreams Up What Animals Would Look Like In Modern Clothing

Yago Partal's portraits depict the fantasized style preferences of creatures worldwide, from an Arctic wolf to a zebra

Related Expert

Sara Schiller

Creativity At Work

Fitness & Sport Today

New Data Technologies Make Hyper-Personalized Training A Reality

The Sports Debrief from PSFK Labs looks at how analytics tools are being developed to optimize human performance across all industries

Technology Today

IBM Watson Helps Grammy-Winning Producer Craft An EP

The computer system's data technology generated musical scores for Alex Da Kid's first solo project

Travel Yesterday

30-Year-Old Photographs Used As Travel Guides

A new photo series revolves around tracing the origins of images from the past


Future Of Automotive
Scenarios Driving The Digital Transformation Of An Industry

PSFK Op-Ed october 26, 2016

Creative Leadership Expert: Experiencing A Seismic Shift From Brand Loyalty To Interface Loyalty

Marc Shillum, founder of Chief Creative Office, explains why product designers must rethink the way they capture consumer attention

PSFK Labs october 25, 2016

The Keys For Exceptional Performance On And Off The Field

PSFK Labs' new report highlights five important insights for businesses to perform better than the competition

Children Yesterday

IKEA Is Letting Kids Design Its New Line Of Toys

The products are taken from fanciful drawings that showcase the imagination of those who use it most

Technology Yesterday

Album Turns Into Something New Each Time It’s Streamed

Bill Baird's new album explores the relationship between time and music through a website crafted by design team, One Pixel Wide

Health Yesterday

VR App Prescribed For Pain Relief

A pharmacy chain in Sweden is stepping away from tradition to develop a happy place for the pain-afflicted

Retail Yesterday

Banks Are Coming Together To Create A New Payment Network That Rivals Venmo

A number of financial institutions are collaborating to make a new person-to-person monetary system called Zelle for their customers

Media & Publishing Yesterday

Pocket Camera Aims To Facilitate The Struggles Of Live Streams

The Mevo helps resolve the complexities of streaming video with an intuitive setup and smart editing controls

Health Yesterday

Startup Believes Traceability Will Help Disrupt The Multivitamin Industry

Ritual is a daily supplement for women that traces every ingredient back to its source

Arts & Culture Yesterday

Photo Series Brutally Murders Some Of Your Favorite Fast Food

The portraits by artist duo Ilka & Franz do away with mealtime regulars in a way that is both beautiful and humorous

Mobile Yesterday

Coffeemaker Teaches You How To Make The Perfect Cup

The device comes with an accompanying app that guides novices and experts alike through the brewing process

No search results found.