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Last Updated: Thursday, 10 August 2006, 19:59 GMT 20:59 UK
Airports to remain on high alert
Queues at Southampton International Airport
Long queues formed at Southampton International Airport
Airports in southern England remain on a high security alert after an operation to foil an alleged plot to blow up planes from the UK.

There were lengthy queues at check-in at Southampton Airport on Thursday as passengers repacked their hand luggage into clear plastic bags.

The Department for Transport has warned only essential items will be allowed to be carried onto a flight.

Passengers have been urged to continue to allow extra time for their journeys.

Southampton International Airport's marketing manager Mandy Khaira told the BBC that "all the additional security measures" as directed by the Department for Transport were being imposed.

She said: "Everything needs to be checked in, including laptops, and they are using carrier bags to carry everything on board.

There's apprehension in the air
Becky Johnson

"This has a knock-on effect. We are expecting delays and are asking passengers to allow plenty of time to get through security."

There were delays at Southampton of about one hour on Thursday, but operations were expected to return to normal on Friday

A spokeswoman at Bournemouth's airport said security measures have been taken although there were no reported delays on Thursday.

The security alert also caused disruption to transport services in Berkshire and Oxfordshire, in particular in areas close to Heathrow Airport.

Passengers at Bournemouth International Airport
Only essential items are allowed onboard flights

At Southampton Airport queues filled the check-in area with the heightened security measures particularly effecting parents with prams and extra luggage for children, which must be X-rayed.

Becky Johnson, who had been queuing at Southampton Airport for a flight to Belfast, said: "I'm a very nervous flyer anyway, I'm shaking head to toe."

A Hampshire Constabulary spokesman said there were no specific threats to any airport in the region, but as a precautionpolice patrols had been increased.

Dorset Police set up vehicle checkpoints on the approach to Bournemouth Airport and stepped up patrols at the Compton Abbas airfield near Shaftesbury in north Dorset.

A spokesperson at Farnborough Airport said it dealt mainly with private hire flights, but it too had increased security checks.

Hand luggage

Security measures were stretched to other transport services.

At Reading station passengers boarding the RailAir coach service to Heathrow Airport were asked to take no hand luggage with them.

BBC Radio Berkshire's Ronnie Jones, at the station, said: "We've seen drivers asking passengers to put their hand luggage under the bus as well as their big suitcases.

"Normally you can go on the bus with hand luggage, but you're not being allowed to do that now.




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