This predicted wait is in spite of the plan the Olympic Delivery Authority announced in 2007 to cope with the extra passengers on London's transport. It said:
"The implementation of the Transport Plan will ensure that increased demand for transport services during the Games has a minimal impact on existing transport networks and commuters’ regular journeys within London. It will also ensure that spectators can easily get to and from London from across the UK, and to competition venues that are located outside of London, such as the venues for the Football competition."
"As part of the transport strategy, an Olympic Transport Operations Centre (OTOC) will be established to manage all modes of transport for the Games Family, spectators, workforce, and for all those travelling for reasons unconnected with the Games. This will help Transport for London, other transport operators, the police, local authorities and those running the Games to keep London and the UK moving."
Transport for London released a round-up of the probable Olympic effects on some 30 stations, including King's Cross, London Bridge, Baker Street, Oxford Circus and Waterloo (the busiest station in the UK). 35 per cent of London Underground stations are affected. At Bond Street, TfL predicts a wait of 30 minutes or more for a train between 5pm and 7.30pm for the duration of the Games. There's a similar outlook at Bank, where you'll be waiting 30 minutes or more for a train between 5pm and 8.30pm.
Docklands Light Railway station Pudding Mill Lane, which is the next stop to the Olympic venue of Stratford, will be shut during the Olympics.
The Evening Standard said on Friday "In the evening, TfL suggests that you stay in Central London enjoying the attractions of the South Bank or 'having a beer with a colleague'. If everyone takes this advice, you should only face a 30-minute wait for a Tube between 5pm and 7pm. With a £1,200 bonus for working during the Games, at least you can be sure that the Tube drivers will be showing up"
Paul Collins has written a book An Olympic Summer : Transport for London in 1948, based around some fascinating historical photographs. It records the British transport scene during that summer of 1948 when the world travelled to England and the immediate post-war road and rail networks were put to the test.
I wonder how the network will actually cope this year with the anticipated 5.3 million visitors during the Olympic games? Current signs are remarkably unoptimistic.