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Fear that Olympics will put too much pressure on London’s green transport ambitions

Many people fear that the Olympic Games that are coming to London next year will be a flop much in the way the Millennium Dome was. The games are planned to be a giant and successful event, just as the Dome had been intended to be.

The latest news to hit the press about the Olympics is that VIP’s who come to the Games will be taken by chauffeured cars to the site. These cars will be fitted with a sensor that will be able to turn traffic lights green to make the journey for the VIP as quick as possible.

The Games has been promoted as something that will greatly benefit public transport in east London. There is a great deal of information about the games and the expansion of the Underground services in the region. The literature is full of jargon that is rather hard to understand and is therefore easy to ignore – hardly surprising given that it is a creation of Tony Blair.

There is much fear that this transport expansion will be much like that conducted for the Millennium Dome, in other words, not very effective. It was around the time of the opening of the Dome that the group responsible for organising travel to the venue had failed to construct and adequate rail line and that some people coming to visit the attraction would have to do so by bus.

For many people the Games is not about next year, it’s not about the actual sporting events themselves. For most of those who will benefit from the Games the benefit will come before and after the event. In the grand scheme of things, the actual sports taking place are meaningless when compared to the change that will be brought to the area. Much of this will be about the transport and what people coming to the area, or going from it, will gain long term.

London is a city that has been blighted historically by transport failures. The first underground line, the Jubilee, was intended to be ready for the Second Great Exhibition which took place in 1862. The underground line did not open for another whole year.

During the days that the Olympic games take place there will be a 25 per cent increase in the amount of traffic on London’s transport system. Considering this, David Cameron’s latest publicity stunt, telling ministers to travel to the games by public transport seems daft. Cameron himself has said he may take his bike to ease congestion; he and Boris Johnson could probably make the ride together. Realistically though the PM will be travelling by bulletproof car. He has recently made a statement that admits security will as big an issue as transport at the Games.


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