Getting to the games

The Olympic Delivery Authority (ODA) talks us through its transport strategy for the Olympic games

We need to ensure safe, reliable and accessible transport for 500,000 spectators daily from across the UK and overseas, as well as the 50,000 athletes, officials and media we will host in the summer of 2012. We want to do this at the same time as leaving lasting transport improvements for generations to come.
The publication of the Transport Plan marks a year of significant achievement, during which important progress has been made by our transport partners on key 2012 schemes. This partnership will be crucial to our future success. Thanks to the strong teamwork that is in place right across the industry we are on track to deliver.
Q What have you achieved so far?

A We will have completed all the hard infrastructure needed for games time transport by the end of 2010. Together with our partners, we have hit all of our milestones in the last 12 months. Work to treble capacity at Stratford Regional Station is underway; the tunnels needed to extend the Docklands Light Railway have broken through; the first new trains to be used on the Javelin® shuttle service in 2012 have arrived in the UK for testing and the high speed rail link they will travel on, HS1, is ready.
Q How will your transport strategy leave lasting transport improvements for generations to come?

A The ODA aims to implement a Transport Plan that will produce benefits which reach beyond simply delivering transport during the Games. The ODA is committed to providing a legacy of new transport infrastructure, enhanced and new public transport services, training and employment opportunities in the transport sector, and to regenerating east London.
The implementation of the Transport Plan will provide benefits in two ways. The first is to enhance or accelerate existing transport schemes – for example, co­funding 22 of an additional 55 rail cars to increase capacity on the Docklands Light Railway. For other schemes, such as the upgrade of Stratford Regional Station, the ODA is funding the full scheme so that benefits can be enjoyed before, during and after 2012.
Other important benefits after the Games will include:

  • a network of new and upgraded walking and cycling routes, and an increased awareness about the benefits of walking and cycling as a healthy means of travel;
  • improvements to key stations to enable disabled people of all impairments to use public transport networks more easily; and 
  • more people choosing public transport when travelling to or within London and the UK, and to future events.

Q What measures will you put in place to provide a sustainable transport system for the 2012 Olympics?

A London 2012 has made a commitment to be the first ‘sustainable’ Games, setting new standards for major events. Sustainability principles were incorporated into the development of the transport strategy for the Games from the start of the planning process. The following are examples of these principles:

  • All ticketed spectators will travel to competition venues by non-car modes.
  • The transport strategy makes best use of existing infrastructure. 
  • The need for transition between the Olympic Games and Paralympic Games has been minimised. 
  • A compact Games means that the need for travel is reduced. 
  • The promotion of the ‘Active Spectator Programme’.

To help minimise the amount of carbon dioxide emissions related to Games transport, the Olympic Park will be a Low­Emission Zone (LEZ) during the Games. This is an independent LOCOG initiative that requires emission levels to be even lower than the Greater London LEZ levels and extends to smaller passenger vehicles, such as cars. Only vehicles under five years old and which meet the predetermined London 2012 emissions standards will be allowed to enter the Olympic Park.

Q Who are your partners?

A The task of delivering a safe, reliable and inclusive transport for the Games impacts on the whole of the UK transport sector. LOCOG and the ODA are working with a wide range of partners to ensure that London 2012 is remembered as the best connected Games ever. Many stakeholder organisations were involved in the development of the transport strategy. These, and many more, will continue to be involved during the detailed planning and operational phases.
Transport for the Games will be delivered through a partnership between the ODA’s Transport team, LOCOG and a number of transport authorities, including:

  • Transport for London;
  • Department for Transport; 
  • Highways Agency; 
  • Train Operating Companies; 
  • Network Rail; 
  • London & Continental Railways (LCR), including Union Railways (North) 
  • BAA; and 
  • other transport providers, including London boroughs and local authorities and transport operators across the UK.

Q How do you see spectators travelling to the Games?

A Underpinning London 2012’s transport strategy is its ambition to host a ‘public transport’ Games. The aim is for 100 per cent of ticketed spectators to travel to the Games by public transport, or by walking or cycling. There will be no private car parking for spectators at any venue except for some Blue Badge parking. Existing public transport services will be improved and enhanced in the years before 2012 and additional services will operate during the Games to meet the extra demand.
The challenge to get all ticketed spectators to the Games by public transport, walking or cycling can only be met if transport is accessible and inclusive for all. London 2012 will implement an accessible and inclusive transport network to ensure that everyone, including disabled people of all impairments and other people who may have difficulties using the transport system, can get to the Games.

Q How will you ensure the safe and seamless transportation of the athletes?

A To support seamless Olympic Family transport, an Olympic Route Network (ORN) will be implemented.This will comprise a network of roads linking all the competition and key non competition venues. It will be used to transport the Olympic Family quickly and securely between accommodation areas, all competition venues and other venues, such as arrival airports. In general, the roads will still be available for use by all traffic during the Games. However, some traffic lanes will be reserved for Games vehicles on the busiest sections of the ORN.
Following the Olympic Games, the ORN will be scaled down to form the Paralympic Route Network and facilitate efficient transport services for the Paralympic Family.

Q How will you keep London and the UK moving?

A 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.

Q What is the ‘Active Spectator Programme’?

A London 2012 is committed to working with stakeholders to maximize the economic, social, health, environmental and sporting benefits the Games bring to the UK and London. For example, the ‘Active Spectator Programme’ is being developed to promote active and healthy travel modes, such as walking and cycling, across London and the UK.
Q What safety measures will be put in place?

A The ODA is committed to ensuring that safety risks are properly managed and that all necessary safety controls are in place. The strategic approach to safety risk management is based on the principle that all existing transport delivery partners have mature and approved safety management arrangements in place and will use existing techniques to ensure significant hazards and risks are managed. The ODA’s Transport team is assuming a watching brief over safety assurance for the transport programme. The ODA and LOCOG are working in partnership with the Olympic Security Directorate (OSD) to create an overarching transport security strategy. The OSD has developed a high level risk assessment approach to analysing transport security issues for the Games. The police and security agencies are involved in the development of the strategy and it will continue to evolve as the finer details of the Transport Plan emerge. A Transport Security Working Group has been established to coordinate the approach to transport security.

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