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Last Updated: Monday, 15 August 2005, 16:08 GMT 17:08 UK
'It's a war on commuters'
BBC News website reader Chris Pollard sent this picture of Stockwell station after the shooting
The shooting in Stockwell is one of a series of incidents in London
Safety and security concerns are at the forefront of the minds of BBC News website readers in the wake of the latest incidents on London's public transport system.

We received thousands of e-mails in response to the attacks and Friday's shooting in Stockwell. They came from Londoners and non-Londoners alike, expressing a mixture of concern and defiance.

Frank Ferano witnessed the shooting in Stockwell station on Friday morning.

"I was getting ready to board the train this morning when chaos broke out around me.

"Everyone was in shock or panic as the police took the guy down.

"I'm considering trying to get some holidays because I just don't feel safe travelling anymore.

"It's a war on commuters."

We are not dealing with school bullies
Steve Mitchell
Steve Mitchell from Oval, which was one of the areas affected by Thursday's attempted bombings, said: "I know this is not how a person who has lived in London all his life should speak, but I am terrified.

"I cannot believe the atmosphere of fear and uncertainty coursing through my city's veins.

"Ignoring this and saying 'I'm not afraid' will not stop this from happening.

"We are not dealing with school bullies.

"The 'ignore them and they'll go away' tactic will not work.

"As a 32-year-old man I am not afraid to say, it has worked. I am scared!"

'Leaving the country'

Julia Smith has switched her mode of transport in response to the latest incidents.

"I live in London and used to get the train to work.

"I no longer will and will now drive.

The truth is I will think twice before visiting London again
Andrew Thomas
"I was previously considering buying a house in Sydney and moving there.

"After these incidents I have made up my mind and am leaving in two weeks and will not come back to this country."

Non-Londoners have also expressed concern at the current security situation.

Andrew Thomas, from Swansea, said: "This will definitely have an impact on London's tourist industry.

"The truth is I will think twice before visiting London again.

"It's not worth getting blown-up to have a day out."

'Safer than driving'

Others, however, expressed defiance and optimism.

Chris Lowe, from London, said: "Even after two rounds of bombs I am amazed by people saying they will give up using the Tube and switch to using their cars.

The Tube is still one of the safest ways to travel
Chris Lowe
"If the bombers manage to get even a small number of people to switch from public transport to cars they will have much more effect at shutting down London than they achieve with their bombs.

"The Tube is still one of the safest ways to travel and is far safer than driving a car.

"I will in no way change my use of it due to terrorist action."

Sally Bennett, a tube driver from Guildford, said: "I feel that we cannot give in to these cowards.

"London must be strong. They want us to crumble. We are not afraid!"

Mo Olphin, from Norwich also expressed defiance.

"I am a 60-year-old grandmother. I was in central London on a bus at 1030 on 7 July.

"I am returning to visit my daughter next week. Nothing will stop me."

Ineffective security

However, others expressed concern at security arrangements after the bombings.

Commuters are warned to keep their bags with them as they exit the Belsize Park tube station on Friday
Many commuters are edgy while others continue with their routines
"Defiance is all very well but it doesn't save lives," said Liz from Worthing.

"Security searches have already been introduced on the New York subway in response to the attacks in London.

"If the US can do something to improve security, why can't the UK?

"All we seem to get from the government is 'it's too difficult' and 'continue as normal'.

"How ineffective and short-sighted is that?"

There were also some security suggestions from other readers.

"I wish there were scanners just like at the airport so anything dodgy could be picked up," said Anna from Hertfordshire.

"I understand that the actual logistics of doing this would probably not be practical but I would feel a lot safer."

'Continue with your lives'

Mick, in London, said it is now up to passengers to police public transport themselves.

"Why don't passengers show each other what's in our bags when we get on public transport?" he said.

"I'd happily do it. People with suitcases could be searched by staff."

Farrukh Quraishi, from Blackburn, saluted Londoners willing to still travel on public transport.

"As an outsider (to London) I can only praise those of you who can overcome the natural fear and continue with your lives," he said.

"I salute you and despise those who cause you pain."

Your comments

London is a place we want to be
Matt Thomas, Tokyo
I was visiting London on July 7th with my wife who is Japanese to find an apartment as we plan to return back to London for my work. It was horrifying to see the events unfold in the city that we love and plan to live in and bring our children up in. We did think about not moving back to London but we are not gonna let the bombers ruin our plans. If anything now, London to us is a place we want to be because it means so much to us. Also there are loads of Japanese tourists and students planning to come to London and they are not going to let terrorists ruin their plans either.
Matt Thomas, Tokyo

Being a British Muslim I feel more unsafe using the tube, buses or even the pedestrian pavements, not because of fear of terrorism, but because of the huge upsurge of Islamaphobic attacks. I, along with members of my family and many Muslim friends, have been abused verbally so many times in the last 2/3 weeks that I have lost hope of reporting such incidents.
Omid Azizi, London

As an Israeli studying in London I will not stop using the tube to get to collage. In Israel this thing happens once every 2-3 weeks. London has had serious attacks in how many years? The only way to beat these ideological idiots is to go about life as normal.
Mike, London, UK

I grew up in Northern Ireland and have lived in London now for over 20 years. All this talk of defiance and we'll carry on our normal lives is all very brave but also a bit of a daft attitude. In NI we (usually) got warnings of bombs. In London we don't. I AM afraid for myself, my family and friends and everyone living here.
GA, London, UK

I live in Shepherds Bush, was evacuated and have only just come home. Today, Saturday there are still police in the road as they search a house and we are semi-cordoned off. I have read the comments on this board and see people talking about technological security measures and technology that can be introduced. Yes that will and should come. But, the best security is each and every one of us that lives and works in London is watchful and is prepared to overcome our embarrassment at challenging a stranger we feel is acting suspiciously. It is we the people of London and the way we behave that will make the ultimate difference.

Just be more vigilant and hope for the best
Shamim Ahmed, Bethnal Green, London
I work in Docklands and have to use the bus and train everyday to get to and back from work. I know it's scary but if your time is up then there is nothing you can do. Just don't give in to these terrorists, that is exactly what they want. Just be more vigilant and hope for the best.
Shamim Ahmed, Bethnal Green, London

I am from South Africa. I am scared, and I am angry... BUT I have seen this all before and I will throw my voice behind the rest of London's! You do not have to be a BRIT to be a Londoner... You can be from anywhere in the world, but when you are living in London, you become... a Londoner.
Sinclair, London

As Sinclair stated, "You do not have to be a BRIT to be a Londoner". There are so many ways to show defiance against these acts. Read the free paper, go out for coffee, learn Sudoku, make a new friend and visit old ones. Anything that brings order or logic into the day is a small victory over the intended chaos. As Londoners re-learn to 'take care of each other', things will improve and we will win this fight.
Kathleen Parsons, Middlesex

New York is a subway ("tube") town, too. You can't live here or there without it. Even with the fear caused by terrorism, you have to use it.
Tim Forker, New York, USA

I am an Australian currently living in London. I am from an incredibly safe country and the last few weeks have left me shaken. But I am not scared to go about London. I think the emergency services have been doing a brilliant job and tube staff have been tremendous in what must be, for them, a tense place to work at the moment. It's ok to be scared when things like this happen, but it is important to remember that some people have lost loved ones...if you're alive and well, focusing on that may help a bit.
Adrienne, London

If you really have to stop using public transport why not get a bike?
David Hayes, London
I can understand people are nervous about using the tube. However it is disappointing that people are switching to cars - it is bad enough having the threat of bombs going off without the roads becoming even more congested and the air we breath even more polluted. If you really have to stop using public transport why not get a bike?
Benjamin Neal, London

I have lived in London for 39 years, and the events over last couple of weeks are not going to change the way I travel.
David Hayes, London

I would like to mention that many people working in the city have no choice but to use public transport as they often live many miles from their place of work. It particularly affects those people on lower incomes who do not have their own transport and cannot drive to work. Many of us are forced to live further and further from the centre due to the increases in housing prices and rental rates. If you can walk home or have a car then you are one of the fortunate ones. I think car pooling could be a good option for the future. At present there are too many single drivers with no passengers congesting the roads.
Mary, London, UK

London, a city beloved of so many around the world, will remain forever the magnet it's always been for people, ideas, commerce, pleasure, art and all the things that make it - and life - worthwhile. No amount of induced mayhem will keep me or countless others away, and I am planning my next visit at this moment.
Roger Cohen, New York

My best friend's boss was killed at Aldgate on 7th July. I was lucky to have had a day off and did not travel in on Thameslink and the Piccadilly Line that day as I usually do. But I can obviously understand the fear, rage and frustration that my fellow commuters are feeling. While all of us, I am sure, support the police and security services in their efforts to prevent further attacks, everybody in London needs to seek practical solutions to avoid feeling this fear and anxiety. A friend of mine travels internationally regularly and since 9/11 has transited airports with his belongings in a transparent, polythene rucksack-type bag. Would use of such a device help to reduce fear and anxiety on the tube?
Mark Williams, St Albans, Herts

It's really time to just move on with life
Rob, London
There is no greater threat now than three months ago so get on with it. Living in fear is ridiculous. Leaving the country is ridiculous. It's really time to just move on with life. Look at Israel. People use public transport despite all of the risks. You have just got to get on with it.
Rob, London

I work in London, I travel on the Northern Line, I will continue to do so. Don't give in, if you do they win.
Mike, Watford

The train and tube ride is stressful enough, without this. It's making me a very grumpy man.
James, Shepherds Bush

There have been a number of comments that a stiff upper lip won't keep the bombers away from London, but walking around in fear or avoiding the city altogether won't keep the terrorists at bay either. London has to get on with life. We might be a little more cautious and pay more attention to the other people in our vicinity, heck we might even make eye contact on occasion but we can't not go to work or move away because of these attacks and, I for one, wouldn't want to. London is my home and this will be another one of those things that I will bear in mind to be street-wise about.


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