Keeping the Games moving
With over 18,000 athletes and officials, more than 70,000 volunteers and 8.8 million ticketholders – not to mention 21,000 broadcasters and media professionals – ensuring everyone is in the right place at the right time during the Olympic Games is a huge
There are expected to be approximately one million extra people in London during the Games, meaning an extra three million public transport journeys per day, but London 2012 Chief Executive Paul Deighton is confident that LOCOG and its partners have made all the necessary plans to ensure that the transport operations run as smoothly as possible during the Games.
“Our overall objective is simple,” he explains. “It is to get the athletes, the media, the workers and the spectators to the Games on time while we have to keep London moving.”
To achieve that, considerable investment has been made in improving London's transport infrastructure ahead of the Games. These include new lines and new trains – such as the high-speed Javelin service to the Olympic Park – as well as bigger stations and extra services for commuters and Londoners. After the Games, these improvements will provide a well-needed legacy for London.
Work has also been done to ensure that the existing transport network runs as efficiently as possible, while the Olympic Route Network – which is made up of roads linking all competition and other key venues, yet occupies just 1% of London’s roads – will help provide reliable journey times for athletes, media, officials and others working at the Games.
“To get all that to work requires an unprecedented co-ordination and collaboration between organisations, and our priority, of course, at London 2012 has been to serve the needs of the athletes and the technical officials, media and the Games family, while ensuring our spectators, right from when they leave home to when they get home again, just have a fantastic experience, and the transport leg is an important part of that,” adds Deighton.
“That has included everything from securing free travel for spectators in London to ensuring Games lanes are in place to get the athletes and the media to the events according to a reliable and predictable time.”
So would Deighton have a tip for fans making their way to the Games?
“Plan your journey,” he says. “We won't necessarily be advising you to go on the route you know. We have a special journey planner for ticket holders, and it will show you how to get to any of our venues from anywhere in the UK, and if our spectators haven't already done so, please book your ticket.”