please empty your brain below

You ain't seen nothing yet. I escaped Sydney and hid in the desert for three weeks ...

Of course, if they succeed and scare everyone witless so that they vanish for a fortnight, everything will work smoothly and all those spectators will have effortlessly easy travel.

I don't understand the draconian warnings. London hosts big events all the time. There will only be 80,000 in the Olympic Stadium. Wembley and Twickenham hold similar numbers and London doesn't close down every time there is a match on there. The Velodrome only holds 6,000 and the tube system wouldn't even notice if Leyton Orient had that sort of crowd. The transport system copes with events like the Royal Wedding - when there are huge crowds of people. Certainly the jubilee line serving both the O2 and the Olympic Park will get crowded however there are lots of ways to reach the Olympic Park. If they manage to scare everyone into staying at home - it'll be a great time to travel round London.

It would certainly be ironic if TfL's advice does work, and everyone, with the exception of those attending the Olympics, stays at home, thus avoiding the public transport chaos that has been predicted over the past few years.

In fact, it would also be ironic if everyone in London without Olympic tickets (which would be the vast majority of people) all decided to take TfL's advice to stay away from London to heed, and then caused gridlock on the northbound part of the M1 and heavy overcrowding on the trains in their efforts to leave the capital.

Of course, DLR staff haven't yet agreed to any of this, and neither have all of the Underground drivers. Depending on the age of the contracts, latest contractual finish time is between 0145 and 0200.

Public Transport Chaos...What's new ??

@Brian: Never travelled on the District line past Fulham Broadway on a match day? The tube is very capable of being overwhelmed just by one large crowd of people going to one place. It'll be hell when there's lots of much larger crowds each going to the four corners of the capital at once.

Huh. Even Dorset is affected, see here. We shall be virtually cut off for thirty four weeks weather permitting. This work is only being done because of the sailing events at Weymouth. Not pleased.

Total capacity of Olympic Park venues: 240k.
Everything sold out at ExCel: 80k.
Busiest day in Greenwich: 70k+
The Dome: 15k.
Beach Volleyball at Horse Guards: 15k.
Volleyball: 15k.
Lord's: 4.5k
Wembley Stadium: 80k
Wembley Arena: 7.5k
Live Site in Hyde Park: 40k
Live Site in Victoria Park: 30k

The Olympics are not, repeat not, just any other London event. Treat them like that and you'll get a very nasty shock next July.

I wouldn't suggest getting too alarmed, Sydney went through the same scare campaign 12 years ago and coped well, in fact some normally busy areas seemed less so.

Alan. I take your point - but you also need to factor in that these events all start and finish at different times - so not everyone will be trying to get,for instance, into the Olympic Park at the same time. Some lucky people will be going from one event to another within the park. Also as people will be coming to the events from a wide number of places their journey times are also likely to be staggered.Diamond Geezer will be walking to the park so that's one less space needed on the tube. London has some 3m people commuting in and out every weekday and the actual Olympic traffic won't be as much as that. The vast majority of Londoners don't actually have tickets for the Olympics and will be watching it at home reducing the number of journies taken around London. I just don't think that everyone will need to put their lives on hold or be scared of travelling anywhere.

TFL are not adverse to outright lies to try to get people to change their travel arrangements. During the escalator work at Bank station, there were regular announcements by drivers on northbound northern line trains that it was "not possible to change to the Central Line from the Northern Line at Bank". I regularly saw people jump up at this announcement and get off the train. It was a lie. It was always possible to make that interchange.

I appreciate that TFL have to try to avoid transport chaos but they should be transparent about their advice.

I lived in Manchester during the Commonwealth Games. Now, I know that those are much smaller, but I suspect if you ratio'ed the size of those games to the size of the Olympics, and the size of Manchester to the size of London, then you'd be looking at a relatively fair comparison.

Remember - Manchester had at that point 1 and a half metrolink lines, some suburban rail (no station near the Stadium though - they're still finalsing that line now - 9 years later!) and a metric &*^% tonne of buses. NO UNDERGROUND!

And we coped. Yes, OK, the Oxford Road drag was busy (main bus route to athlete's village), but no worse than it would have been a month earlier/later when the students would have been there. Everyone just developed patience, and the athletes and dignataries were being whizzed around in sponsor provided Rovers anyway (oh how things change!), my Uncle drove one of them! I never heard any tales of traffic gridlock, or fights developing because things were overcrowded. They put on more buses and trams (they couldn't control the trains) and ran them later - until around 2am, IIRC.
And you know what - for two weeks it was bliss! We had a glimpse of the sort of transport system we could have, and we have never got back to it since!

London, with it's controlled buses, night buses that are used to running all nights of the week, it's tube and DLR, and seemingly it's ability to control all the trains, not just the TFL "Overground" will be fine. Don't worry about it - just allow more time for your journey and be prepared to help confused foreign tourists with directions.

I've been to the Sydney Olympic Park (long after the event, I admit), and I would say it is, roughly, the same distance from the centre of Sydney as the London Games will be from the centre of London. The public transport infrastructure is, in my opinion, not as good as London, and I don't recall hearing tales of woe then? Obviously, we all remember the tales that came out of Atlanta, and I would assume that London have learnt from that, hence their warnings now, their attempts to work with companies to get staff working from home, and their advance notice, a year out from the event itself.

Thanks for a great article , with your permission re post to the 70,000 volunteers that will also be using the underground during the games.
We won't all be there all the time, but I am hoping that we can get into the Sporting Arenas when required.


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