Parents of London Bridge victim issue rental cars appeal on anniversary

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Parents of a London Bridge terror attack victim have renewed calls for tougher car rental rules as they mark the third anniversary of the tragedy.

Christine Archibald was one of eight people killed when terrorists used a hire van to mow down pedestrians before running amok around Borough Market with knives on June 3 2017.

The 30-year-old Canadian had been visiting the capital for a short trip while her fiance, Tyler Ferguson, was in the UK for work.

The couple had shared a romantic stroll on the bridge moments before Ms Archibald was killed.

Tyler Ferguson and Christine Archibald
Tyler Ferguson and Christine Archibald (Metropolitan Police/PA)

Ms Archibald’s parents Greg and Barbara, along with other victims’ families and survivors, have now settled compensation claims with Hertz’s insurer Probus for undisclosed sums.

They told PA news agency: “We’re approaching the third anniversary of the London Bridge terrorist attack which resulted in the deaths of eight beloved people and changed forever the lives of many more through physical and emotional injuries.

“The process of bringing a civil claim has allowed us to campaign to prevent another similar attack.

“We continue to appeal to the bodies that govern vehicle rental agencies in the UK to make it mandatory for all vehicle rental agencies to have to adhere to the UK Government’s rental vehicle security scheme (RVSS).”

The scheme that aims to minimise the risk of hire for terror attacks is currently voluntary for short-term vehicle rental operators, they said.

It provides that a vehicle rental operator has to demonstrate that it has a system in place to train staff to identify risks, share data with law enforcement and conduct identity checks when a customer hires a vehicle.

The Archibalds said: “We also believe that rental vehicle operators should have to submit the identity of a prospective renter to a red flag/alert system when the RVSS process identifies a risk, similar to that used by airlines.

“Following a terrorist attack, people say a lot of important-sounding words.

“We’re very concerned that the security scheme remains voluntary, it has to be compulsory and all rental companies have to adhere to it.”

Jennifer Buchanan, of Fieldfisher law firm, who represented the Archibalds in their civil claim, said: “Unless this becomes compulsory and rental systems actually change, the scheme is meaningless and the risk of similar attacks remains.”

London Bridge anniversary
Victims of the London Bridge terrorist attack (top row left to right) Christine Archibald, James McMullan, Alexandre Pigeard, Sebastien Belanger, (bottom row left to right) Kirsty Boden, Sara Zelenak, Xavier Thomas and Ignacio Echeverria (Met Police/PA)

Since November 2019, the BVRLA has been working with the Department for Transport to monitor and assess compliance.

From January 1, it has been incorporated into the association’s mandatory code of conduct and governance regime, with more than 450 of the association’s rental and commercial vehicle member organisations participating.

BVRLA chief executive Gerry Keaney said: “We believe that it is vital to take an industry-led approach to dealing with the threat of vehicle-as-a-weapon terrorism, and this is why we have made the RVSS part of our mandatory code of conduct and governance regime.”

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