16 January 2009 | Jill Reilly
A project to ensure that emergency services radios work underground has been completed ahead of schedule following collaboration between London Underground, the National Policing Improvement Authority (NPIA) and its supplier.
The Airwave system allows the Metropolitan Police, British Transport Police and City of London Police to use a unified radio network below ground level.
The communications system on the Tube was criticised following the 7 July terrorist attacks in 2005. The London Assembly report into the bombings recommended the introduction of a new communications network.
The technology, originally scheduled for March this year, was launched this week.
Airwave Solutions has been a supplier to the NPIA for six years, and the deal for the new radio network is worth £107 million and was signed in January 2007. The contract includes installation and running costs, and expires in 2018. It forms part of Transport for London's £10 billion investment programme to upgrade the Tube network.
Tim O'Toole, managing director of London Underground, said in a statement: "London Underground and the Home Office, together with partners, had the foresight to fund works to facilitate the link-up between Airwave and our new radio system prior to the contract being signed because of the benefits we knew it would deliver."
For an exclusive insight into how the Airwave system works, watch our video below