Campaigners call for ‘safety garden’ tributes around London to replace barriers after terror attacks


Campaigners are calling for new safety precautions to replace barriers put in place on the capital’s bridges following devastating terror attacks.

A group has launched a project named ‘London Safety Garden’ aimed at providing an alternative to the safety barriers which would also serve as a lasting tribute for victims of the atrocities.

The ambitious plans come after eight people died when knife-wielding terrorists mowed down pedestrians on London Bridge before stabbing revellers in Borough Market.

The horrifying scenes unfolded less than two months after attacker Khalid Masood ploughed into people walking across Westminster Bridge before stabbing Pc Keith Palmer to death in March.

Crash barriers are put up on Westminster Bridge

Large bullet-proof plant pots would line bridges and busy streets in London as part of the proposals, creating a “less intimidating” alternative to the barriers that are currently in place.

And campaigner Liam Flood said these could also become permanent memorials, built by community groups, for the victims of both last weekend’s atrocity and the attack on Westminster Bridge.

He said: “People always want to try to help after this sort of thing, and a scheme like this is perfect to show the world that love and understanding will always triumph over hate and fear.”

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The barriers were installed more than two months after a terror attack on Westminster Bridge (Alex Lentati)

Following the chaos that unfolded on the capital’s streets this year, barriers have been installed on major bridges amid fears of a future attacks.

Mr Flood said that, although the precautions already in place are necessary, they could in time be replaced by the reinforced flower pots that “would not look so industrial.”

Westminster Bridge Security Barriers – In pictures

The 24-year-old said the terraces of plants would more than just protect people from potential terror attacks that involve targeting pedestrians on bridges.

He said they would also provide “substantial” cover from knifemen like those who carried out the horrifying attacks on the capital that left 13 people dead and dozens more seriously injured.

Mr Flood, a London-based musician who is leading the start-up campaign, added: “But the idea is more than just a safety precaution, the flowers could be planted by volunteers from all over London. It’s a great chance to bring together our city’s diverse community.

“The capital’s diversity in the face of these atrocities, when terror tries so hard to divide us, is what makes it so special. And a scheme like would really reflect that.”

The campaigner has approached City Hall with his plans.

A spokeswoman for the Mayor of London Sadiq Khan said: ““The Mayor’s thoughts remain with all those affected by the cowardly London Bridge terror attack and their families.

Sadiq has been moved by the outpourings of solidarity and compassion from Londoners and visitors the city, with many coming forward with offers of help.

“The Mayor’s first priority is ensuring the safety of everyone in the capital, and he is in constant contact with the Metropolitan Police Commissioner, Government and security services to look at every measure necessary to protect our city.”

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Source : http://www.standard.co.uk/news/london/campaigners-plan-safety-gardens-around-london-to-replace-barriers-after-terror-attacks-a3561631.html

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