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How bad would things have to be before the Tube was shut down?

(17 Posts)
JumpandScore Sat 21-Nov-15 11:12:31

In London?

I just can't imagine it happening here. I think the authorities would try and manage it, maybe by closing certain sections or stations, but they wouldn't shut down the underground, no matter how high the risk was. I suspect it's pretty high ATM but it's important for the economy and general well being of the population that we carry on as normal.

What do you think?

ElinorRochdale Sat 21-Nov-15 11:25:35

I can't see it happening unless, like on 7/7, something had actually happened. There'd be chaos as hundreds of thousands of people tried to find alternate routes, unless they told everyone not to go out, the knock on effect on essential services if people couldn't get to work, the general alarm it would cause. It would just make things worse, I think.

Brussels is a much smaller city and their metro is much smaller than the Tube - just looked it up on Wiki. I don't think it's comparable.

JumpandScore Sat 21-Nov-15 11:27:52

No Brussels isn't comparable but they've cancelled (or recommended cancelling) everything. No football matches, people told to avoid crowds, including places like shopping centres and concerts. They seem to have basically shut the city down. Unless the reporting is exaggerated.

meditrina Sat 21-Nov-15 11:35:04

BBC article in the raising of the Brussels threat levels to the highest level.

www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-europe-34889144

UK is currently on 'severe'. The highest level here is 'critical' (which the country has been used, without closing the Tube etc). If there was a specific threat against a specific place, then yes it would be cleared. But not every crowded place every time the threat is that high.

rainydaygrey Sun 22-Nov-15 18:57:12

Apparently Brussels schools and universities are going to be closed tomorrow (says the Guardian).

LurkingHusband Mon 23-Nov-15 08:59:34

In the 1980s, the IRA realised they could paralyse the capital without a single blast or shot, as they would phone in coded warnings, and random stations and lines had to be closed to be checked.

It was common to have the driver announce that "Due to a security alert, this train will be terminating at the next station" and you'd have to get to street level.

The worst thing was the litter.

TheCountessofFitzdotterel Mon 23-Nov-15 09:24:04

Brussels schools etc are closed, it's not exaggeration. I am not sure how they will decide when things are safe enough to reopen them.

IamCarcass Mon 23-Nov-15 09:30:59

I was wondering this morning if the shutdown was actually to make to search of the terrorists easier as opposed to an imminent threat. After I read the article about tweeting cat pics under the #brusselslockdown has tag so as to not the suspects get away.
Then again I've probably being watching too many shows...

TheCountessofFitzdotterel Mon 23-Nov-15 09:54:15

I don't know, surely the simplest explanation is that there really is a threat? I don't find it hard to believe they would threaten schools, unfortunately.

MackerelOfFact Mon 23-Nov-15 10:41:57

Well apparently tube drivers asking for better conditions is enough to paralyse the whole underground network for days, so I don't see why a specific terror threat shouldn't.

Brussels is a much smaller city than London though. Closing the tube down didn't stop the Tavistock Square bomber from detonating on the bus on 7/7. If you closed the tube, you'd just end up with massive queues at stations and people packed onto buses - it wouldn't dissipate the crowds at all, unless there was a warning like in Brussels just not to go out at all, which I think would be unlikely given the massive cost to the economy. Having said that, I do remember a degree of lockdown happening during the London riots, especially the afternoon/evening following the worst night of it.

chantico Mon 23-Nov-15 12:05:12

I don't think the right to strike is anything to do with responses to threats terrorist crimes.

I've just seen on the news that there have been more arrests in Belgium today (16 earlier today and a further 5 just announced) . Plus speculation that the duration of the state of alert is related to whether anyone posing an imminent threat is still at large.

NoTechnologicalBreakdown Mon 23-Nov-15 13:48:44

It's a small place between two major powers, and the Wallonian half of it looks to France in many things (not too sure about Brussels itself, it is Francophone). It has also had a bigger percentage of its population leaving for the jihadis than anywhere else. Given that some of the terrorists were Belgian I expect they're under a fair amount of pressure from France right now.

NoTechnologicalBreakdown Mon 23-Nov-15 13:55:46

Oh yes, and the surviving terrorist is thought to be there, with bomb belt etc.

MackerelOfFact Mon 23-Nov-15 14:46:20

chantico I meant more in the sense of the logistics of disruption - it's not unheard of for the tube to go down for non-security reasons (strikes), so if there was a specific safety threat I would imagine that would make closure more of a possibility?

SellFridges Mon 23-Nov-15 14:52:20

The tube reopened late in the day on 7/7. Certainly local overground services did. Buses ran throughout. I went on the tube the next day.

I think only a specific threat would close it.

ElinorRochdale Mon 23-Nov-15 17:39:49

The 7/7 bombs went off just before 9.00. A lot of people were already at work. They had to get public transport working so they could get home. That would be the problem with shutting down the Tube network at any time - what do you do with all the people stranded away from home who will be milling around central London trying to get on buses or looking for alternate routes.

BertieBotts Wed 25-Nov-15 16:04:36

I have a friend in Brussels, she posted a photo on facebook and then had to delete it just in case shock Because it showed where the military were exactly, which wasn't allowed.

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