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Saturday, April 28, 2012

2012 Summer Olympics Public transport

London's public transport was an element of the bid which was scored poorly in the IOC's initial evaluation. Transport for London (TfL) are carrying out numerous improvements in preparation for 2012, including the expansion of the London Overground's East London Line, upgrades to the Docklands Light Railway and the North London Line, and the introduction of a new "Javelin" high-speed rail service, using the Hitachi Corporation's "bullet" trains.
TfL also propose the construction of a £25 million cable car across the River Thames, the "Thames Gateway Cable Car", to link 2012 Olympics venues. It will cross the Thames river between Greenwich Peninsula and the Royal Docks, carrying up to 2,500 passengers an hour 50 metres in the air. It is designed to cut journey times between the O2 arena and the ExCel exhibition centre – both of which are Olympic locations. The privately-funded system could provide a crossing every 30 seconds.
They also plan to have 80% of athletes travel less than 20 minutes to their event. This Park would be served by ten separate railway lines with a combined capacity of 240,000 passengers per hour. Park-and-ride plans are also among the many plans aimed at reducing road traffic levels during the games.

Concerns have been expressed at the logistics of spectators traveling to the events scheduled for outside of London. In particular, the sailing events at Portland are in an area with no direct motorway connection, and with local roads that are heavily congested by existing tourist traffic in the summer. There is also only limited scope for extra services on the South Western Main Line beyond Southampton, without new infrastructure. The Olympic Games' organisers say that having analyzed past Olympic sailing events, they would expect fewer spectators than recent events such as the Carnival and Tall Ships Race, this despite the United Kingdom being at the top of the sailing medal table at the previous three Olympic Games.
In January 2010 the South East England regional transport board criticised plans published by the Olympics Development Authority for not providing plans of a credible long term coach network saying "The ODA has been working on an extensive network of coach services... [but] the lack of reference to this work [in the plan] is both intriguing and at the same time concerning." On 15 February 2010, the ODA announced that FirstGroup was the preferred bidder for the provision of bus and coach services for the games. This will involve the provision of venue shuttle and park and ride services, services connecting peripheral park and ride sites on the M25 with the Olympic Park and Ebbsfleet, and a nationwide network of express coaches to the Olympic Park, and the Weymouth and Portland sailing venue. The services will require around 900 vehicles in total, although some will be sub-contracted.

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