By Daniel Hunter
The London Assembly has sent a letter to the hosts of the next Olympic and Paralympic Games highlighting advice from London 2012 that could help ensure transport runs smoothly during Rio 2016.
Lessons from the London Olympics could help Rio “cope with the pressure of additional visitors, deliver athletes to events swiftly and allow residents to get to work” stated the legacy letter sent to the Brazilian Ambassador.
London 2012 and the Transport Legacy — published today by the Assembly’s Transport Committee — suggested that major investment, extensive testing of the transport network and a willingness amongst commuters to adapt their travel plans were among the factors that allowed London to cope successfully with the influx of additional visitors.
Record-breaking passenger numbers during London 2012 saw 60 million passengers (30 per cent increase) on the Tube; a doubling of passengers of the DLR; and a 47 per cent increase on the upgraded London Overground.
The report also sets out ways in which London can learn from the experience of hosting the Olympic and Paralympic Games. It identifies six specific areas including activating ‘co-ordination teams’ between transport operators for major London events; maintaining long-term Tube reliability and encouraging permanent changes to Londoners' travel behaviour, including increased cycling and walking.
The Transport Committee is seeking a response from the Mayor and Transport for London (TfL) on the actions to be taken to secure a transport legacy in these areas by April 2013.
Caroline Pidgeon AM, Chair of the Transport Committee, said: "Major transport investment, good passenger information and operator collaboration all led to an effective, smooth-running transport network during summer 2012 — part of the package that made London 2012 such a success.
“Rio faces new — and different — challenges in the run up to the Games in 2016, but London’s experiences can bring lessons to the table that are relevant to all cities planning to host the Olympics, World Cup or other major sporting events.
“We must now make sure the £7.2 billion invested in transport allows London to gain its own Olympic legacy. Smooth-running, reliable public transport, better passenger information and accessibility for all, must be the daily norm for passengers. Moving forward, lessons learnt could also potentially lead to the Tube running later at night and better transport co-ordination for future events held in the capital.
“The high-performing transport system of London 2012 must become an everyday experience for Londoners and not just an exceptional, one-off achievement only beneficial over the Olympic summer.”
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