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Olympic transport chaos a sure thing

Olympic transport chaos a sure thing

Our World | On 03, Nov 2011

Back in August I wrote about the absurd suggestion by LOCOG’s Mark Evers that 3 million London workers should stay at home during the Olympics – a notion supported by Transport Minister Norman Baker. Well clearly they have listened and realised that asking workers to stay at home for 4 weeks during the Olympics might not be the most appropriate government advice for our fragile economy. The solution they are now proposing is of course even more amazing.

They have obviously dismissed the first and most obvious solution of improving the transport infrastructure which would not only create jobs but make London a more attractive business destination and of course give said fragile economy a nice little boost. Far too obvious and far too simple for the likes of LOCOG. No, we now have a recommendation from another source – the Transport for London Commissioner Peter Hendy, who has delivered LOCOG’s ingenious solution – “go to the pub”.

In October, Mr Hendry briefed London Assembly officials about how London’s already over-crowded transport network would cope with an extra 5.3million visitors. The result of 7 years of planning by LOCOG was – it won’t. TFL are warning there will be delays of more than an hour at stations like London Bridge and Stratford and all along the Jubilee and Central Lines.

Mr Hendry said “On one or two of the days (London Bridge) will be very, very crowded and the best thing to do if you happen to be here on the day of the Equestrian event in Greenwich is to have a beer before you go home because you won’t be able to get into the station before then.”

To add insult to injury, the people who live and work in London, in other words TFL’s regular and most valuable customers will become second class citizens as TFL admitted that dedicated “Games Lanes” for athletes and VIPs would also cause excessive delays for regular commuters.

LOCOG have known about this for seven years and buried their heads in the sand. Their advice list sounds more like a hurricane warning than a well thought out solution with advice to stay at home and stock up on non-perishable goods.

So much for the lasting infrastructure legacy.

Nigel Cooper

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