Wednesday, September 14, 2005

Further Correspondence with Brian Coleman

Brian Coleman, the Greater London Authority representative for Camden, the borough in which I live in London as well as 2 out of the 3 stations affected that morning sent me another courteous reply to a follow up to my previous enquiry.

Dear Mr Coleman

I noticed that in the Daily Telegraph in an article questioning the leadership of the Justice4Jean campaign, you are quoted as saying

"Brian Coleman, a Conservative member of the London Assembly, has questioned the way the campaign has apparently become political, a claim the organisers deny.

He said: "There are a lot of questions Londoners need answers to. But I say this to the family: don't allow yourselves to be distracted by the extreme Left-wing agenda."

Yes Mr Coleman there are questions Londoners need answers to and as the member for Camden I asked you if you could explain why I am unable to find out at what time the trains left Kings Cross the morning of July 7th and you answered that you saw no point to the correspondence.

If you would like to check out my blog The Mysterious Case of The Non-Existent Train Time found here http://bridgetdunnes.blogspotcom/ you will see why answering my question may be of more use to Londoners than your opinions on the leadership of the Justice4Jean campaign.

Yours Sincerely

Ms Bridget Dunne

Mr Coleman's Reply :

Please cease e mailing me further correspondence will be treated under the vexacious communications policy of this Authority and please remove my name from your web site that appears to serve no useful purpose whatsoever
To Mr Coleman and all the other elected representatives or public servants that I have contacted in my vain attempt to establish the times these trains left Kings Cross, or any other fact that I choose to pursue given the total lack of these, if you find my questions vexacious, tough, I intend to go on asking until I receive an answer.

Friday, September 09, 2005

Brian Coleman Camden GLA Member

Very short and sweet this correspondence, well from Mr Colemans` side at least. Here you go:

I really don't see the point of this correspondence and will not be pursuing it.

I had asked Mr Coleman:
Dear Mr Coleman

Thank you for answering my email. My point is that this information is not in the public arena, at least not anywhere that I can find it.

I am suprised because the Metropolitan Police website has issued the times that the no 30 bus left Marble Arch and the times that it was at each stop. This makes sense because people get off and on buses and most commuters do notice what times their trains and buses arrive, as they are generally going to work. How else would someone know that they were on the same bus that exploded at a later time?

This same logic surely applies to the trains? I can't understand why the train times aren't made available (which LU have confirmed that they have) in the appeal for witnesses? Given that tube trains can run every 3 to 4 minutes during the rush hour, wouldn't this make sense if, for instance, a person had got on and sat next to the suspected bomber but got off the train 2 or 3 stops before, would they necessarily know that they had been on the same train? Especially as it wasn't generally known until around 10 a.m. that these incidents had occurred. Or perhaps they would remember being on the same platform at Kings Cross.

It just seems very strange that I am unable to find this information from any source which leads me to wonder WHY?

Yours Faithfully
Ms Bridget Dunne

Thursday, September 08, 2005

British Transport Police

As the Metropolitan Police did not see fit to provide this information I contacted the British Transport Police who are based in Tavistock Square, close to the Number 30 bus bomb blast. They had been travelling close behind the bus on that morning:
British Transport Police
20 July 2005
I wanted to express my appreciation for the outstanding assistance from the doctors and staff at the BMA following the atrocious attack on the bus outside your premises on 7 July.

Three of my officers were travelling behind the bus when the bomb exploded, and were the first officers on the scene. Whilst they began to rescue passengers from the bus, your staff immediately sprang into action assessing and treating the casualties.

Their response was first class and I would be grateful if you could pass on our gratitude to all those concerned.

Ian Johnston, CBE, QPM
Chief Constable, British Transport Police, Tavistock Place, London
'Your thoughts', BMA Web site

Could they help with my request for the train times? They replied:

Thanks for your message.

I am afraid that this is not our inquiry so I cannot comment. You will need to go back to the Metropolitan Police.


Simon Lubin
Media Relations
British Transport Police
15 Tavistock Place
London WC1H 9SY
Tel: 020 7830 8854
Fax: 020 7830 8935
Mob: 07771 670116

-----Original Message-----

Subject: London Bombings

Dear Mr Lubin

I have been attempting with no success to clarify some facts relating to the events in London on the morning of the 7th July 2005.

The trains all left Kings Cross that morning yet I have been unable to ascertain the precise times that they departed. Given that there were major delays on those lines earlier that morning, it seems pointless to refer to the timetable. This information should be in the public domain to ensure witnesses can come forward.

Commuters generally know the time that they were at any given point as they make their way to work.

I have also been unable to access any information on the times that they boarded or left the Thameslink train between Luton and Kings Cross on that morning.

As all the above is important for eye-witnesses to come forward I do not understand why this information is unavailable.

I have contacted TFL and the Metropolitan Police, but neither will make this information available and I can only begin to wonder, Why?

I sincerely hope you can help with my enquiry, as the answers to my questions hardly seem to require secrecy,

Yours Sincerely
Ms Bridget Dunne

Another dead end....where next can I try?

Monday, September 05, 2005

The Metropolitan Police reply

After checking their website regularly the Met do not think it necessary to appeal for witnesses by publishing the times of the trains either.

I contacted them to ask why and whether they could give me this information, by this time I'm wondering if this is some kind of state secret.
Dear Mr/Ms Bridget Dunne

Freedom of Information Request Reference No: 2005080000735

I write in connection with your request for information dated 30/08/2005 which was received by this unit of the Metropolitan Police Service on 30/08/2005. I note you seek access to the following information:

Re: Events in London 7/7/2005. Police Web site does not give times that trains involved with Bombings left Kings Cross Station.

Following receipt of your request searches were conducted within the MPS to locate information relevant to your request.


The information requested falls under a MPS 'normal business process' and is therefore unavailable under the Act.


Section 21 of the Act provides:

(1) Information which is reasonably accessible to the applicant otherwise than under section 1 is exempt information…

The information you have requested is 'reasonably accessible' elsewhere on Transport for London Site

Now if I were asking the Metropolitan police for information on how to get from A to B I would expect to be directed to TFL's journey planner. But this is a major murder investigation into how 56 people have lost their lives.

Surely the victims, their families and friends would expect that an investigation into what happened on that fateful morning might have this information and that it would be readily available, surely it is not insignificant.

I understand that police work and investigations depend increasingly on forensics and psychological profiling and perhaps the name of this blog indicates a more old fashioned type of investigation in the mode of Sherlock Holmes where the facts are gathered and then examined.

By contrast we are told on the Metropolitan Police website that:
The bus started its journey at Marble Arch at 9 o'clock. By five past nine it was in Gloucester Place, and at ten past nine in the Marylebone Road. By 9.30am it was in the Euston Road near the junction with Gower Street, heading East. The closure of Kings Cross Station, because of the attack on the Underground, meant that the bus had to be diverted from its normal route , to travel south into Woburn Place and Tavistock Square. [Metropolitan Police]

So the Met see fit to tell us at what time the number 30 bus had left Marble Arch but not what times the trains left Kings Cross. Surely the time that the bus exploded at 9.47 am was the only significant fact if I follow the logic of the London Underground reply?

Friday, September 02, 2005

Reply From London Underground

I felt too heartsick to post this yesterday, after seeing the suffering of those poor souls in New Orleans. In the spirit of trying to unravel what evil forces are and have been unleashed on the world and who exactly is behind all these events I will continue on my quest for a few simple truths. See title of this blog and the reasons for this blog

My query to the Mayor's Office was passed to London Underground and this is the reply I received:
Dear Ms Dunne

Thank you for writing to the Mayor recently with your concerns about the Tube.

Your e-mail has been logged at his office and passed to me to answer from London Underground's point of view.

I am sorry for the delay getting back to you. I'm sure you'll understand that we have a large volume of correspondence to deal with at the moment.

I'll answer your questions in the order and form you asked them.

1. Yes, all Tube trains have radio contact with their line control.

2. I'm sorry, but I find this question a little strange because it seems to assume that the drivers did not alert the control centre. I'm not sure what information you base this assumption on, but it isn't accurate. Our network control had been alerted to all the incidents within minutes of them happening. Your question also seems to assume that the drivers would have known instantly that the incidents were bombs, but this also isn't the case. They reported what they knew, often the symptoms rather than the cause (so to speak), which itself may not have beenimmediately clear.

3. Mercifully, no member of our staff was injured in any of the explosions. I understand that there was damage to the cab of at least one train where the windows were shattered.

4. Again, I'm afraid it's not accurate to say that the information given about a power surge was a 'story'. When the explosions happened, obviously they broke the track circuit. On the computer systems at network control, such a big break would look the same as a power surge. It's worth pointing out that we have never been the victim of a terrorist attack of this kind before, but on 28 August 2003 a power surge knocked out about half of the network. Such a surge can beaccompanied by explosions. In other words, all the evidence we had at the time (including the information from the drivers) and our experience pointed to a power surge, so that's what we said it was. This information was given in good faith.

I am dismayed by reports in certain sections of the media that the term power surge was used as some kind of cover story until we were ready to reveal the truth. Indeed, I have to say that I take issue with calling it a 'story', as this seems to imply that we deliberately misled people. This is nonsense. As soon as we had evidence of what had actually happened, we made that information public.

5. Most trains now have CCTV and it is being added to older trains as they are refurbished and fitted on new trains as standard. You may have seen the images from train CCTV of the 21 July Oval suspect.

6. I understand your point about the time helping eye witnesses. It is now clear that all three explosions were between 8.50 and 8.51am. Of course we have the track data to know exactly when each train left each station, but I think that any eye witnesses should concentrate on the run up to the key time of 8.50am.

I hope that I have answered your questions, clarified the situation and set your mind at rest.

Please contact us again if you need any help from London Underground in the future.

Yours sincerely

Robert Wolstenholme
Customer Service Advisor
Customer Service Centre
0845 330 9880

Well thank you Mr Wolstenholme, but that left me more confused than when I started asking these questions. The control centre knew instantly via the drivers that these incidents had occurred. Yet Transport For London's press release on their own web site states:
14:25 Transport for London Update

Latest information confirms that there were four incidents on London's transport network this morning, three on London Underground and one on London Buses. At 09:46, the London Underground was suspended and all stations commenced evacuation following incidents at:

Aldgate station heading towards Liverpool Street station on the Hammersmith & City line;

Russell Square station heading towards Kings Cross station on the Piccadilly line;

Edgware Road station heading towards Paddington station on the Hammersmith & City line.

So on 7th July 2005 at 14.25 pm the trains were not only all travelling towards Kings Cross but were also on the Hammersmith & City Line not as we are later told, the Circle line. The times were also published on many sites over the following days as:
7/7 Attack on London Underground:
There were three explosions on London Underground today, 7th July 2005, believed to be the work of Islamic terrorists, although this is not confirmed.
The first took place on a train between Aldgate East and Liverpool Street at 08:51, the second between Kings Cross and Russell Square on the Piccadil0ly Line at 08:56 and the third at Edgware Road at 09:17. Deaths are currently repoorted to be 7 at Liverpool Street, 21 at Kings Cross and 7 at Edgware Road. We should also not forget there are two more deaths reported as a result of a fourth explosion on a Route 30 Bus at Woburn Place near Russell Square. [Tubeprune]

Terrorist Attacks on the Capital Published: 08/07/05

The following details have been provided by the Metropolitan Police as an outline of events on Thursday 7 July 2005. At 08.15 on 7 July there was an explosion in a train carriage 100 yards from Liverpool Street Sation. At 08.56 there was another incident as Kings Cross/ Russell Square. Both stations were used to bring out casualties. At Kings Cross there were 7 confirmed fatalities, 10 people seriously injured and 100 walking wounded. At 09.17 there was an explosion on a train coming into Edgeware Road underground station approximately 100 yards into the tunnel. Five fatalities were confirmed. [GOS News Archive]

Now I can understand that chaos may well reign during these kinds of events and communications can break down. Yet there was an exercise carried out as recently as April 2005 entitled Exercise Atlantic Blue details of which are on the Home Office website. How many people took part in the exercise? What organisations did they represent?

Around 2500 people were involved in the planning and delivery of Exercise Atlantic Blue. These included representatives from the Home Office and other Government Departments, the Metropolitan Police Service and a wide variety of London agencies including emergency services, utilities and local government. [Home Office]

Anti-terror drill revealed soft targets in London

Mark Townsend and Gaby Hinsliff
Sunday July 10, 2005
The Observer

A massive anti-terror exercise carried out last April to find out how safe London's transport systems were from attack raised concern over the vulnerability of passengers, The Observer can reveal. [Observer]

For anyone who wonders why I continually bang on about what times the trains left Kings Cross that morning let me just say: given all of the above why wouldn't I? And why can I not find the answer?