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Thursday, November 25, 2010

Olympics chiefs say avoid Tube

The Olympic Delivery Authority yesterday urged commuters to avoid the London Underground during the 2012 Olympics. They anticipate an extra 20  million journeys on public transport, with trips expected to be 6.5 million on the busiest day (that's almost double the normal amount)

Image by Jon Justice

They warn of delays of up to one hour on key Tube routes. The Central and Jubilee lines will be worst hit as these are will used to take spectators eastwards to the Olympic Park in Stratford.

Colin Stanbridge, chief executive of the London Chamber of Commerce and Industry,
said: "There will be inevitable pressures on the transport system and it is crucial that all companies are aware of any impact on their own firm. Affected businesses will need to think ahead and should start considering plans as early as possible.

"This might include implementing travel plans or flexible working for employees, reducing non-essential journeys and making adjustments to delivery schedules to ensure they can remain open for business as normal
."  (possible solutions for employers to help "staff understand the transport challenges they will face" outlined here)

They've also launched a "Travel Hotspots" map which shows how bad areas will get. It's not just limited to areas directly around the venues and includes "areas around major interchange stations, such as King’s Cross St. Pancras, London Bridge and Bank, and routes that link central London with venues."

Hotspots in the central London - pink dots show public transport hotspots
Hotspots in the central London - pink dots show public transport hotspots

Each map has a section outlined in bold pink lettering "The following summarises what is currently predicted to happen without action by businesses to reduce the number of journeys."

What about the amazing travel plan that the same Olympic Delivery Authority announced in 2007 to cope with the extra people?   It says:

"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

Surely managing all modes of transport - means more than telling people to not use it and getting companies to make staff work from home? Why is it up to businesses to resolve the anticipated problems?  I know  it's early days, but yesterday's announcement sounds like the ODA are already giving up!

Related post:

Can the Tube cope with the Olympics?

; Posted by annie mole Thursday, November 25, 2010 Permalink COMMENT HERE