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Friday, June 29, 2012

Why no early Sunday Tube service for Olympic Games?

As the Olympics looms ever closer and the London Underground gets covered in pink stickers pointing us in various directions to get to venues, I received an empassioned email from Lisa Stewart who's finding it will be impossible to get to the Games. This isn't due to an overcrowding or just because it's going to be uncomfortable but because of the lack of early Sunday services. Over to Lisa:

Archery image by Jon Justice
Image  by Jon Justice

"Basically, why on earth are they not running trains as early on Sundays as they are during the week, when the same events are running with 8am starts? I've tried 4 different train lines from my area and none will get me to Stratford before 8.30am. I'm based on the Met line/Chiltern Line in Chorleywood. I looked at using Watford Junction station, I looked at driving to Stanmore to use the Jubilee line, but that doesn't start before 7am?! The Jubilee line, possibly the most used line during the Olympics, not starting before 7am on Sundays when events start at 8am. I feel utterly let down and ripped off! 

I emailed the Olympic Contact Us site and just got an email back with a link to First Group, ie drive there!  It says you have to get to the car park 90 mins before you get to Olympic Site, and to the Olympic site an hour before you need to get to your Venue, that totals 2.5hrs. The car parks don't open until 6am, the events start at 8am, so I can't even allow enough time! Has anyone done the maths on any of these timings?!

There is talk of starting the Sunday service 45 mins earlier, but that is yet to be confirmed, reflected, on the time tables (for my area at least) and is still not enough time, even if they do it. 

It all seems so ill conceived, badly thought out and the left hand has no clue what the right hand is doing. I have tickets to shooting and diving too and quite frankly have lost my appetite for the Games altogether. I thought the whole idea was to discourage us from driving into town, but they are not providing suitable alternatives. 

I have tried speaking to the Olympic helpline, and one lady, though very sweet, knew nothing! Said they hadn't had the timetables yet for the Underground, can that really be the case? Then why, oh why, am I bombarded with emails almost daily asking me to plan ahead, plan my transport, book my transport, when the timetables haven't even been released! I would dearly love to plan my journey, I've been trying to for over a month! I hope that common sense prevails and someone actually realises that you have to start the trains by 6am latest, preferably 5am, in order for people to have a fighting chance of getting to their events?

They should run the trains for the same week day hours all week, including weekeneds for the Olympics, the event times don't change, why should the train times. We may not need quite as many trains, since no rush hour to deal with, but we certainly need them to start as early. I naively thought, the Tube would provide an adequate service.

I live 30 mins from Baker St by train, but I cannot get to the venue before 8.30am using public transport, which means I won't enter the venue until 9.30-10am earliest with security checks, which means I miss the first match, and some of the 2nd. I paid £140 for 2 tickets and I wish I hadn't now. "

If anyone has any other suggestions for Lisa to get into London in time for the games,  she'd love to hear.  Also if anyone from London Underground has a response for Lisa that would also be great.  She's emailed Seb Coe & Boris Johnson in her despair, but could well be waiting until the next Olympics before she gets a answer from them.

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