London subway boss says no bag checks for Olympics

October 22, 2011 - 12:39 PM
Britain London 2012 Olympic Transport

Peter Hendy, London's Transport Commissioner, speaks to an operator as he looks at the screens on a visit to the Surface Transport Traffic Control Centre (STTOC), in London Wednesday, Oct. 19, 2011. The STTOC will be the Transport Coordination Center during Olympics Games. (AP Photo/Elizabeth Dalziel)

LONDON (AP) — There are no plans to check people's bags on the London subway as part of extra security planned for the Olympics next year, the head of the city's transport system said Wednesday.

The London Underground, known locally as the Tube, will be stretched to its limits during the Games. Critics of the aging and often overstretched system have expressed fears that additional security measures would further delay journeys.

But Peter Hendy, the commissioner for Transport for London, told The Associated Press that while authorities will take advice from the police, such additional checks are not envisioned. "It's almost giving in to terrorism," he said of the idea.

Hendy made the comments during an interview outlining plans to manage the huge increase in traffic expected on subways, trains and buses during the Games, which begin July 27 and end Aug. 12.

Surveillance camera use will be expanded for the Games, he said, although he offered no details on other security measures. Bag checks are expected to take place at venues hosting the competitions.

London suffered transit attacks in 2005, killing 52 commuters and four suicide bombers. Hundreds of thousands of spectators are expected to join the city's already busy subway, bus and rail system during the Olympics.

Around 6.5 billion pounds ($10.2 billion) has been invested in upgrading and extending transport links. Transport for London has held seminars and reached out to businesses in the city, meeting with managers and individual companies in hopes of altering work patterns and encouraging people to work from home.