With an extra 5m visitors expected in London for the Olympics next year, it won’t come as that much of a surprise that journey times by road will increase. TfL have warned that they could more than double.
In August, TfL set out their plans for how they plan to cope with what will be an undeniably heavy demand on the transport system. Road users will also see the network reduced thanks to the Games Lanes but TfL say they are confident they can keep things moving:
'We have been clear that at certain times and places the transport network will be much busier than usual, which is why we are already working with businesses to ensure they can keep on running and make the most of the great financial opportunities offered by the Games.'
There's been a fair bit of doom and gloom in the media over the Olympics and transport but will it be quite the kind of transport apocalypse scenario we’re all bracing ourselves for? It’s certainly true that in a kind of butterfly/tsunami effect, one minor delay can lead to big problems; the 1200 unplanned closures of the Blackwall Tunnel caused by breakdowns and motorists running out of fuel last year cost more than 13 days of severe traffic congestion. But all these people should be using public transport, right? Well, the 20% (or 6.5m hours) of delays on the tube don’t exactly make appealing reading either. The Transport Minister urged us all to work from home though we haven’t quite plucked up the courage to ask our managers if we can do so for the whole Olympic period.
The cycling test event in August revealed some flaws in planning, with stewards saying they hadn’t been provided with maps or information about which roads were closed, leading to severe delays. We're keeping our fingers crossed that someone in TfL kept some notes for future reference.