Cambridgeshire

Cambridge's King's Parade: 'Urgent' terror action needed

King's Parade
Image caption Cambridge's King's Parade is a popular destination for tourists

Cambridge has taken "no proactive steps" to protect visitors from terrorism in one of its most famous areas, a report has found.

Counter-terrorism police said King's Parade, home to King's College and its chapel, has a "number of vulnerabilities to a potential attack".

Pedestrian levels on the street can be comparable to London and Edinburgh during peak times, a report said.

Councillors will meet next week discuss urgent traffic control measures.

Cambridge has 8m visitors per year, and a report to the city's joint area committee said that pedestrian density and numbers were comparable to "similar tourist hot-spots" such as Windsor, Oxford, York and Edinburgh.

The report said many of those cities "have or are taking proactive steps to protect visitors from the threat of terrorism", but notes that Cambridge - thus far - has not, the Local Democracy Reporting Service said.

The Counter-Terrorism Unit said the threat was "not specific to King's Parade", but added the threat "nationally, is real".

Image caption Visitor numbers in Cambridge can rival Edinburgh and London during peak times in the summer, a report said

The report's main area of "urgent concern" was the length of King's Parade between Senate House Hill and Bene't Street. It noted that visitors also congregated in large numbers while watching a clock outside Corpus Christi College.

According to the report: "The city very much welcomes visitors, and business, and wishes to take necessary steps to both ensure public safety and to provide a more pleasant experience for people moving around under their own means.

"To this end, Cambridge City Council requested the police assess the vehicular borne threat to Cambridge, and advise on how this might best be mitigated."

The committee will hear the "principle and urgent recommendation emerging is the need to better control traffic access from the south along Trumpington Street".

There are hopes initial safety measures could be in place in time for the spring or summer 2019 peak period in street activity.

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