We have to ensure that spectators can get from transport links to venues safely, whilst providing a reliable and secure transport service to get athletes, officials and media into venues.
Traffic warnings on main highways into London are urging drivers to plan their journeys and arrive on time: the London 2012 Olympics are coming. The warning signs are part of a public information campaign to ensure that spectators, and competitors, reach the events on time.
It’s not hard to understand the logistical challenge. On the busiest day of the Olympics, around 500,000 spectators will be heading for the main Olympic Park which is on the east side of London – already one of the busiest tourist and business centres in the world.
And, of course, it’s not just about the spectators and London. It is estimated there are around 80,000 members of the Games’ ‘family’ (competitors, coaches, officials, media, staff) who need to get to 34 different venues around the UK.
“We have to ensure that spectators can get from transport links to venues safely, whilst providing a reliable and secure transport service to get athletes, officials and media into venues,” says Hugh Sumner, Director of Transport for the Olympic Delivery Authority.
At the heart of the strategy is the proposal that 100 percent of spectators should get to the Games by public transport, or by walking or cycling.
“We don’t want spectators driving to venues and parking on residential streets, we want them to take public transport. Equally we want local businesses to thrive this summer and we are determined that London will be open for business during the Games,” says Sumner.
Transport upgrades for the Games form part of a £6.5 billion (EUR 8 billion) improvement package across the UK to increase capacity and bolster services. Much of this has been spent on three rail stations that will handle just under 80 percent of visitors to the Olympic Park.
On the roads, Olympic Route Networks (ORN) are being created in London. These will be available exclusively to key participants, such as athletes and trainers, to travel by official cars or coaches between venues.
The ORN will come into operation just a couple of days before the Games and organisers say around 70 percent of road traffic in London will be unaffected. Athletes staying at the Olympic Village, and whose events are taking place in the main Olympic Park, will have no such problems. They can walk freely from their temporary home directly to the competition venues, all within a 500-acre parkland.
The Village can house up to 16,000 athletes and team officials during the Olympic Games and 7,200 athletes and team officials during the Paralympic Games. After the Games, the Village will become 2,818 new homes.
BMW GROUP - the official supplier
BMW Group is the official supplier of vehicles for officials and athletes to the London 2012 Olympics and has already delivered more than 40 BMW and MINI cars to the organising committee. In total, around 4,000 vehicles will be used by the games for a wide range of official duties. The fleet mix includes diesel, hybrid and electric cars, motorcycles and bicycles. BMW Group won the contract partly on its ability to deliver emissions below the fleet average of 120 grams CO2 per kilometre, set as a sustainability target.
London 2012 Olympics in numbers:
8.8 million tickets
3,000 technical officials