By Marcus Leach
Transport is considered one of the biggest risks to the smooth running of the 2012 Olympic Games. A London Assembly investigation found that extensive preparations are underway, but organisers have an enormous challenge on their hands.
A total of 5.3 million people are expected to attend the Olympics in London. On the nine busiest days there will be around 550,000 to 650,000 tickets available to spectators for venues across London leading to more than a million Olympic-related journeys on public transport. The entire network, including roads, tubes and buses, will feel the strain.
The Transport Committee’s report assesses preparations so far and identifies a number of concerns, particularly about the amount of extra transport capacity required, the Olympic Route Network (ORN), and the need for people to change their normal travel behaviour for the plans to work.
The Committee has asked Transport for London and the Olympic Delivery Authority to provide a progress report on the delivery of new transport infrastructure in September 2011 - with updates every three months thereafter - including details of how new infrastructure has been tested and contingency arrangements if it is not delivered as planned.
The report also calls for a number of areas to be fleshed out in the final edition of the Olympic Transport Plan, including details of:
- The full range of forecasts for the number of spectators and other visitors, and how exactly the demand will be managed.
- How businesses, including small businesses, are responding to calls to change their transport requirements to ease pressure on the network.
- The likely impact of the ORN, enforcement measures and when pedestrian crossings will be reinstated.
- An update on the measures being taken to improve accessibility.
- Action taken to increase cycling and walking, and use of river services.