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Imperial's Fortifications Appear

Aug 10 2007 17:20
Ashley Brown
One year after Imperial's "Fortress" plans were first reported, the new security measures around campus are starting to go in.
A new turnstile in Aero, ready to be activated

Turnstiles and card-operated revolving doors are being installed as part of plans to improve campus security. The first phases of "Fortress Imperial" were completed last year, with reception staff moved to other roles and doors into Mines and Aero switched to swipe access only at all times. New CCTV cameras appeared in January and improved signage - including campus maps - was installed a few months ago.

The final phase, at least in the short term, has a "secure" perimeter being thrown up to restrict entry to the campus by members of the public. The lobbies of the Royal School of Mines, Roderic Hill, Blackett and Huxley buildings are all receiving refurbishment work, which will see turnstiles or revolving doors fitted. The addition of turnstiles has already been completed in Roderic Hill, with Physics and Mines in progress and work on Huxley due to start on Monday.

The following disruption is related to this work:

  • Entrance to Mines currently closed for refurbishment
  • Entrance to Aero was closed, but now appears open with turnstiles and wheelchair/luggage gate
  • Blackett still open but with parts of the lobby closed for refurbishment and revolving door installation
  • Huxley Level 2 entrance will close on Monday 13th August until mid-September. Entrance to the Computing labs will be via the Huxley north staircase only.

Longer term plans include shutting off Imperial College Road to the public and putting access controls into place at all road entrances, creating a "secure" zone in the region bounded by Queen's Gate, Exhibition Road and Prince Consort Road. Turnstiles on the inner entrances to buildings are also under consideration as part of normal refurbishment work.

Plans for Freshers Week were identified by Ceri Davies, Head of College Security last year. Extra security staff are expected to be brought in, with perimeter access restrictions temporarily eased as thousands of new students enter the campus without access cards.

All new installations use RFID technology, so anyone who has not yet upgraded their cards is strongly advised to visit the ID card office in Sherfield to do so.

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Discussion about “Imperial's Fortifications Appear”

The comments below are unmoderated submissions by Live! readers. The Editor accepts no liability for their content, nor for any offence caused by them. Any complaints should be directed to the Editor.
1. Bob   
Aug 10 2007 18:27

College might find a problem with shutting Imperial College Road - it is a public right of way....

Aug 10 2007 18:59

The intention is to change that.

Aug 11 2007 22:00

Arrg! Will they do anything if you jump over those things?

I don't like being late to lectures!

And will our cards allow us to enter other departments, if we want to use their libraries for example?

I can keep moaning if anyone is interested ...

Aug 11 2007 23:07

Have a look at, which answers these questions and more.

In summary:

  • An alarm will sound if someone jumps over the barriers (in theory)
  • Students should have access to every building they currently have access to, unless the building manager/HoD for the building determines otherwise
Aug 12 2007 11:41

thats scary stuff. those plans seem fullproof. I'm hoping some of those CCTV cameras are fake, that way if you jump over the barriers and run fast enough you can get away with it.

Aug 13 2007 09:59

Just an update to this from Ceri Davies, Head of Security:

  • RSM - area being refurbished by Faculty of Engineering and Receptionist position being reintroduced.
  • Aero - turnstiles
  • Blackett - revolving doors
  • Huxley - revolving doors and turnstiles
Aug 16 2007 18:37

what is the point of all this!?

hundreds of students queuing and getting their wallets out for their cards before lectures outside campus seems like a security risk!!

nothing is mentioned about my privacy, i am well annoyed, i do not want to be tracked every time i enter the building, to see whether i attend lectures or not or whatever. i have not been informed of any privacy issues and i think they will track students for attendence at the earliest opportunity. i will be doing my best to avoid these systems by entering from the main entrance from now on.

8. Alice   
Aug 16 2007 19:38

The revolving doors in Mech Eng can be pretty irritating, and are a bit iffy when everyone tries to leave during fire alarms!

Do the turnstiles mean you wont be able to take a guest into the department?

Also, can I as to be allowed to go through RSM; as it will reduce my journey time to the union?

Aug 17 2007 00:44

You should be able to go through RSM/Bessemer as you could before the changes. To take a guest through, just pass your swipecard back... Apparently that is also allowed.

damn annoying - you assume the place is competent enough to track you. I doubt they are.

10. Simon   
Aug 20 2007 11:18

The main Chemistry building has been turnstile controlled all year last year without any really major problems.... barring a couple breakdowns with the gate.

its a bit of an a**e, but it stops people wandering where they shouldnt.

Turning the road private however, i dont agree with.

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