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Resilience, security, and the railway station: a unique case study of the current and future resilience to security threats

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posted on 14.06.2018, 08:56 by Lucy E. Gregson-Green
Major railway stations in England and Wales are highly networked and open locations, frequently crowded, and are vulnerable to criminal and terrorist activities. Successive Government policies and agendas have sought to lessen this susceptibility, by promoting the understanding of and the application of resilience and security measures. Thus, the complex stakeholders are responsibilised (Garland, 1996) and urged to integrate and merge resilience, crime prevention and counter-terrorism measures into their governance, and operational policies and agendas. The aim of this research is to determine and examine the interdependencies and boundaries of the multiple stakeholders within St Pancras International Railway Station (SPIRS), and to analyse how their governance, operational and legislative requirements, and agendas influence current and future resilience of complex Category A railway stations to human malign security threats. Through a unique single case study of SPIRS, qualitative data was collected from thirty-two stakeholder participants, sampled for their expert opinion and experience. Data was also collected via documents and observations. SPIRS interconnected and complex stakeholders were represented using stakeholder analysis and mapping to create an original and innovative map highlighting those who can influence and impact the resilience of the space to human malign security threats. From the thematic analysis of the data, the overarching themes exposed the resilience within SPIRS operates in an uncertain legal space, competing with disparate institutional processes creating a gulf between reality and rhetoric of the responsibilisation of resilience and security strategies. The blurred boundaries of responsibility and understanding of the resilience and security agendas within SPIRS created tension between the national and local level stakeholders. The research adds an original and novel contribution to knowledge, as through contemporary empirical evidence it has established the political rhetoric of responsibilisation (Garland, 1996) for resilience and security policies are inconsistent and contradictory with the reality of how these transpire in an ambiguous operational and legal space such as SPIRS. Regardless of the mapped interdependencies between the multiple stakeholders and their interconnecting operational and legislative obligations, there is a definite absence of a clear and united approach to resilience, with concerns being dealt with by multiple stakeholders and policies. The research has revealed the complications and disparities the complex and multiple stakeholders face implementing policy and subsequently institutional changes in a cohesive manner. The findings of the research necessitate transformations in established organisational procedures, thus ensuring these interdependencies are dealt with now to make certain the effectual incorporation and integration of agendas and strategies are unified, and which maintain the resilience of Category A railway stations and SPIRS for future generations.


Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council; and the Economic and Social Research Council [grant number EP/I005943/1]



  • Architecture, Building and Civil Engineering


© Lucy Elizabeth Gregson-Green

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This work is made available according to the conditions of the Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 4.0 International (CC BY-NC-ND 4.0) licence. Full details of this licence are available at:

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A Doctoral Thesis. Submitted in partial fulfilment of the requirements for the award of Doctor of Philosophy of Loughborough University.