Molineux and Wolverhampton Civic Hall to get new anti-terror defences in wake of European attacks
Barriers will be installed at key sites in Wolverhampton to stop terrorists using vehicles as battering rams, the Express & Star can reveal.
Council bosses are planning to spend £365,000 to defend city centre sites from the kind of attacks seen in Westminster, Nice and Barcelona.
Barriers that can stop 7.5-ton trucks speeding at 50mph are being mooted near Molineux and the Civic Halls.
Meanwhile existing bollards will be repaired – and new ones installed – near Central Mosque, and in Railway Drive and Lichfield Street.
Staff at the council have also been selected for counter terrorism training, a report to next week's full council meeting reveals.
A council spokesman said: “Given recent national and international terror attacks it is important we act to help residents and visitors to the city feel safe and secure.
“While there are no specific threats to the city at this moment in time, we are looking to reduce the risk of vehicle ramming attacks in Wolverhampton and the report recommends installing protective street furniture around crowded areas of the city.
“Subject to approval by full council next week, protection around some existing crowded places will be enhanced, while design planning will be changed to ensure that future developments take account of protective security.”
The report says work on the barriers should start as soon as possible, and measures could be erected elsewhere in the city.
Near Central Mosque, Railway Drive and Lichfield Street, the council plans to 'repair or replace bollards that are no longer fit for purpose and install additional ones where the existing gaps are wide enough for a vehicle to drive through'.
- WATCH: People have their say on the barrier plans
Tougher barriers are planned for Molineux and the Civic Halls – because the two sites regularly attract large crowds they 'qualify for a higher level of protection than standard bollards'.
The barriers at the two locations could stop 7.5-ton trucks travelling at 50mph.
The council report says: "[This will] enhance protection around some existing crowded places, while changing design planning to ensure that future developments take account of protective security.
"This allows limited protection to be constructed around the Wolverhampton sites that have been assessed as the highest risk, based on both likelihood and impact.
"Other crowded places would then be addressed as part of future regeneration projects."
There is an admission in the report that the security measures could have an impact on business, but chiefs said 'the council will do what is possible with existing resources to mitigate any adverse impacts and foster good relations between communities'.