Land Transport Security

Land Transport Security Team

The Land Transport Security (LTS) team in the Department for Transport is responsible for setting policy in relation to counter-terrorist security on:

  • the national rail network
  • London Underground and other light rail networks
  • buses and coaches
  • the Channel Tunnel
  • international rail services

LTS delivers the counter terrorist security compliance programmes for the national railway network, London Underground and other light rail networks regulated for security, the Channel Tunnel and international rail services and the carriage of dangerous goods by rail and road.

The objectives of the compliance programmes and the processes, principles and working practices followed by LTS inspectors are set out in the Land Transport Security compliance policy framework.

Strategy, International and Vehicles Team

The Strategy, International and Vehicles Team sits within the Land Transport Security Team. Their role is to:

  • provide a strategic overview of work across land transport security
  • act as focal point for international engagement in relation to land transport security
  • lead on developing policy to mitigate the risk of vehicles being used as weapons

National railway network and light rail networks

Security regulations, along with best practice guidance, are issued to:

  • the national railway network (Network Rail, train operating companies, freight, light maintenance and depot operators)
  • London Underground
  • Docklands Light Railway
  • Glasgow Subway
  • light rail operators where there is an interchange with the national railway network

The relevant documents detail both mandatory requirements and best practice standards for the industry.

All other light ralway systems are subject to the light rail security best practice guidance published on GOV.UK.

Buses and coaches

The department does not regulate the bus and coach sector for security, but it has issued best practice guidance. This guidance offers operators options ranging from basic measures to enhancements that they can draw on at times of heightened concern.

Channel Tunnel security

The Treaty of Canterbury signed by the UK and France 1986 established the need for the defence of the Channel Fixed Link and this was incorporated into domestic legislation through the Channel Tunnel (Security) Order 1994.

Operators are responsible for the day-to-day delivery of security which includes, amongst other measures, the liability of vehicles, passengers, baggage and freight to be screened prior to travel through the Tunnel.

Security in France is the responsibility of the French government. UK and French government officials meet regularly to ensure that comparability of security arrangements is maintained.

Channel Tunnel services

Eurotunnel (The Concessionaire)

Eurotunnel holds the concession to operate the Channel Tunnel, including the terminals at each end (Cheriton and Coquelles). Eurotunnel also operates the Channel Tunnel freight and passenger shuttles. The company is responsible for the security of the Tunnel, both terminals, and the shuttle services including screening and searching vehicles, prior to boarding in the UK. Although the security regime for the shuttles is comparable in France, it is the responsibility of the Douane (French Customs) to conduct vehicle security screening and search.

Eurostar International Ltd

Eurostar is currently the only international rail passenger operator using the Channel Tunnel, primarily running services between London St Pancras and Paris, Brussels and Amsterdam. There are a number of intermediate, direct and indirect locations with seasonal variations. Eurostar is responsible for the security of the trains and the stations from which it operates in the UK, including the screening and searching of passengers and their baggage prior to departure. The host nation is responsible for these measures on the continent.

International rail freight

Rail borne freight is transported through the Channel Tunnel, mainly by the freight operator, DB Cargo Ltd. All freight is subject to security checks at the point of loading and on arrival at designated freight terminals. The level of those security checks will vary dependent on whether the freight is known or unknown.

Secure carriage of dangerous goods by road and rail

LTS delivers HM Government’s inspection and compliance enforcement function for the secure carriage of high consequence dangerous goods by road and rail in Great Britain. You can find out more about the requirements under security requirements for moving dangerous goods by road and rail.

Industry is responsible for the day to day delivery of security.

Best practice guidance

The department has published a range of best practice land transport security guidance.

Contact details