Destinations

Latest travel advice after London terror attack

Hannah Edensor

Overnight, news emerged of a terror attack on Westminster Bridge and inside the grounds of the Houses of Parliament.

A suspected Islamist terrorist started his rampage when he mowed down at least a dozen pedestrians on Westminster Bridge in a large car, before crashing into the railings of the Bridge.

The attacker, who was wielding a knife, then got out of the vehicle and entered the Parliament grounds and fatally stabbed a police officer, before authorities shot and killed him. One police officer is among the dead, while other officers and a number of schoolchildren are also reportedly being treated for injuries.

The incident, which occurred on the one year anniversary of the terror attack in Brussels that killed over 30 people.

Foreign Minister Julie Bishop said no Australians had been identified in the attack, which has killed five people (including the gunman), and injured at least 40.

“We’ve declared this as a terrorist incident and the counter-terrorism command are carrying out a full-scale investigation into the events today,” Mark Rowley, Britain’s most senior counter-terrorism officer, told reporters.

He said he would not comment on the identity of the attacker, but that police believe “he was inspired by international terrorism”.

“A guy came past my right shoulder with a big knife and just started plunging it into the policeman,” witness Rick Longley told the Press Association.

Speaking to the press, Prime Minister Theresa May said, “The location of this attack was no accident,” before adding the UK terror threat would remain at ‘severe’ as it had been for some time now.

Smart Traveller Australia has not upgraded its travel warning on the UK, but posted this note:

“Following an incident at 2:40pm local time on 22 March 2017 near the Houses of Parliament in Westminster, London local authorities have requested that the public avoid Parliament Square, Whitehall, Westminster and Lambeth Bridge, Victoria St up to junction with Broadway and Victoria Embankment/tube.

“We recommend you remain vigilant, monitor media reporting and follow the advice of local authorities. The level of advice has not changed. We continue to advise Australians to exercise normal safety precautions in the United Kingdom.”

Metro Police in London have requested that people avoid the following areas: Parliament Square; Whitehall; Westminster Bridge; Lambeth Bridge; Victoria Street up to the junction with Broadway and the Victoria Embankment up to Embankment tube.

Frank Brehany, Consumer Director of HolidayTravelWatch, told Express.co.uk, “This is a pressure point in Central London as many thousands of Foreign visitors visit to take in the sights and sounds of the Palace of Westminster and the River.

“Like many Capitals around the world, London demonstrably shows its efforts on security through barriers, no car zones and armed police. In Westminster it is normal to see armed Police particularly around the Palace and Portcullis House.

“It is regrettably a sign of the times and all tourists to London, British or Foreign should always remain on alert, take note of the security around you, report anything suspicious and always, as we are currently seeing, do exactly what the police instruct you to do.”

Meanwhile, per Metro UK, London’s theatres are defiant that they will open on Wednesday night following the terror attack.

Delfont Mackintosh group, who own eight of London’s biggest theatres currently showing productions including The Curious Incident Of The Dog In The Night Time, Aladdin, and The Book Of Mormon, tweeted, “All of tonight’s performances are going ahead as scheduled. Please be aware of transport disruption in the Westminster area”.

The London Eye and Aquarium were on lockdown in the afternoon, per Express.co.uk, after police closed off the “entire area” surrounding Westminster.

A number of passengers onboard the Eye at the time of the attack were left stranded for around three hours as authorities cordoned off the busy tourist hotspot.

Various tourist attractions and cafes also shut up shop as the incident unfolded.

Taylor and Cody Davis were at the top of the London Eye when the attack took place. Speaking to journalists after being released by police, they said, “I just thought it was a small car crash, and then I saw all the ambulances.”

The pair, who come from Utah, said while they are returning home this weekend, their experience has definitely impacted the nature of their trip.

Image: Inquirer News


SEE WHAT PEOPLE ARE SAYING

One response to “Latest travel advice after London terror attack”

  1. the airfare price war, that has already started with keep getting fiercer.
    Already we’ve seen new Scoot fares PER/ATH from $369 one way & $419 from SYD & OOL. Last year fare to LAX & SFO from BNE, SYD & MEL got down to the $700 mark return & these will surely return.
    Some people now won’t go to LON. Might only be a few % of those who were, but it will make a huge difference. Some have said they won’t go to Trumps USA. All these little %’s eating away at yields when there’s an oversupply + the bursting of our massive housing bubble, esp. in SYD & MEL, where some people won’t be able to sell their houses at any price & banks will be repossessing houses & auctioning them to highest bidder with no reserve. Depression here we come.

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