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The Department for Transport (DfT) sets and enforces counter terrorism security measures on a number of transport modes. This includes aviation, maritime, the national and international rail network, London Underground, the Docklands Light Railway (DLR) and Glasgow Subway. One of the recommendations flowing from a comprehensive review of railway security undertaken after the 2004 Madrid train bombings was that the DfT formalise its relationship with the other light rail networks through the development of specific best practice security regimes. This was because of the continuing serious nature of the terrorist threat and the integral nature of these systems to the wider rail network.

Since 2007, the seven light rail systems in Great Britain (Blackpool Tram, Croydon Tramlink, Manchester Metrolink, Midland Metro, Nottingham Express Transit, Sheffield Supertram and Tyne & Wear Metro) have therefore been covered by an advisory regime of recommended best practice. However, if this advisory approach proves to be unsatisfactory, Ministers can exercise their powers under the Railways Act to issue such security instructions as they consider appropriate to provide protection against acts of violence.

This guidance replaces the Light Railway Security Recommended Good Practice published in January 2007, to reflect developments in the terrorist threat and associated security advice. It has been developed to help operators devise and maintain a range of best practice security measures. It covers depots, stops and stations, rolling stock and infrastructure used for operating light rail systems along with generic security issues such as personnel security. The measures outlined are based on experience gained in developing and putting in place effective, proportionate, viable and sustainable security measures for other transport areas, and on some good practices that various light rail operators already have in place.

This guidance is generic, although it is recognised that the light rail systems across the country are quite different from each other in several respects. Some recommendations therefore may not fit with a particular environment or set of circumstances. It should however enable you to gain a good understanding of the issues to consider and provide a range of options that could be implemented, including basic measures, together with suggested enhancements which can be draw on at times of heightened concern (e.g. if there is a bomb threat, or if the country moves to a higher threat level). More information about threat levels is on the Security Service website1. We suggest checking the website regularly for changes.

We have developed the updated guidance in discussion with a range of stakeholders including the light rail networks, the Confederation of Passenger Transport UK (CPT), the Passenger Transport Executive Group Safety and Security Group (PTEG S& SG), Scottish and Welsh devolved administrations, the Home Office, the Centre for the Protection of National Infrastructure (CPNI), the police and the National Counter Terrorism Security Office (NaCTSO). The revised guidance has been welcomed by the stakeholders involved in updating it. This guidance is available on the website.

How to use this guidance

This guidance is for operators of light rail and owners/managers of light rail stations and depots. Sections 1, 2 and 3 are generic and relevant to all, 4 to light rail rolling stock (vehicles and carriages), 5 to light rail stations and termini, and 6 to depots. We suggest that you draw on this guidance for the development and implementation of your own security regimes, tailored to your respective operations. The Quick Reference Checklist at Annex D can help you do this.

We also recommend building these measures into your contingency planning (see Section 2).

We have also produced a Passenger Rail Security DVD training aid (free to operators on request) which complements this guidance. Details of how to obtain the DVD are given at the end of this section.

Following this guidance will help you to strengthen security, reassure your passengers and increase public confidence in using light rail services and facilities generally. It can also offer positive benefits in helping to reduce the risk of crime and anti-social behaviour.

The three key elements underpinning the advice throughout are:

Establish a security regime;

Check that this is operating as it should; and

Be vigilant beyond the formal measures.

Sources of advice and further guidance

Whilst this guidance and the Passenger Rail Security DVD are important sources of advice, they should not be seen as the only available reference.

Police forces

Police forces are a good source of free advice, and will be able to provide guidance to assist you in determining suitable security measures. Additionally, specialist police advisers known as Counter Terrorist Security Advisors (CTSAs) promote awareness of the terrorism threat and develop relationships with partner agencies and site owners to encourage a co-ordinated approach. CTSA contact details can be found on the British Transport Police (BTP) ( and National Counter Terrorism Security Office (NaCTSO) websites (

The policing of the networks is organised as follows:


Police force

Blackpool Tram

Lancashire Constabulary

Croydon Tramlink


Edinburgh Tram

Police Scotland

Manchester Metrolink

Greater Manchester Police

Midland Metro


Nottingham Express Transit

Nottinghamshire Police

Sheffield Supertram

South Yorkshire Police

Tyne & Wear Metro


Whilst the majority of light rail operators receive police assistance from local constabularies, the BTP can provide specialist advice tailored to the rail environment. They can help you to build in a range of preventative measures and contingency planning considerations. The BTP has extensive knowledge of working with operators, and balancing the requirement of keeping the railways moving, with keeping them safe and secure. The BTP also provides a range of rail specific security training, more of which is detailed in Chapter 2 of this guidance.

Centre for the Protection of National Infrastructure (CPNI)

The Centre for the Protection of National Infrastructure (CPNI) protects national security by providing protective security advice. ( CPNI provides advice on physical security, personnel security and cyber security/information assurance. Most importantly, they explain how these components combine together and reinforce each other. A useful introduction is their booklet entitled 'Protecting Against Terrorism', which offers general protective security advice for businesses and other organisations2.

Office of Rail Regulation (ORR)

The ORR ( have a remit to secure the proper control of risks to the health and safety of employees, passengers and others who might be affected by the operation of Britain's railway systems.

Local Authorities

Local authorities prepare emergency planning guidance as a requirement under the Civil Contingencies Act (2004) and may be able to provide assistance on some aspects, e.g. contingency planning. They can also assist regarding the positioning of street furniture such as litter bins or cycle racks.

Other Operators

You may find it helpful to contact other operators and infrastructure owners/managers (i.e. those who own and/or manage light rail stations and depots) to consider sharing best practice. Also, if you own or run a light rail station adjoining a railway station, the station manager should already be in touch with you, but if not, we recommend that you contact them to discuss and implement mutually beneficial security measures. Refer to paragraph 5.10 for more information on links to other public transport systems.

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