The outrages on the train and metro systems in Madrid in March 2004 and in London in July 2005 have shown just how easy a target the public transport is to terrorist attack. Public transport is designed for ease of access and use by travellers, which in turn makes it vulnerable. Given the increasing and more volatile terrorist threat, it is essential to make urban passenger transport less vulnerable to attack as well as to prepare plans for what to do, if an attack occurs, without compromising the ease of use that passengers depend on daily.
The Commission launched a public consultation in April 2006 in view of the Communication Stepping up the fight against terrorism.
During the public consultation the stakeholders expressed a strong interest in exchanging best practise at the European level. To reach improved security levels for European urban transport systems, the Communication proposes the setting up of a national Focal Point in each Member State and the creation of an Urban Transport Security Expert Working Group.
The Urban Transport Security Expert Working Group will facilitate a closer cooperation between Member States and all the national authorities and operators involved at a European level.