In the opening keynote speech at The Guide Live at Etc Venues St Paul’s this morning, Mark Evers offered travel tips for those planning events in London during the Olympics.
Evers said that there would be disruptions but most roads and 65% of tube stations will be unaffected by the Games. He stressed that travel disruption would vary hugely – for example, the majority of the A3 road in south west London will be closed on 28 July for the road cycling event.
He said anyone holding an event in Games-time should plan transport carefully using TfL’s hotspot map for roads and public transport, which was launched in February and models expected delays hour-by-hour.
"It won’t be busy everywhere and where it is busy will change at different times," said Evers. "You need to look at what the road network is going to be like in your local area on any given day, because getting to your events on one day of the Games will be completely different from the next day. That’s a very important message. Take heed of the information and if necessary re-route, re-time or re-mode your travel plans."
He said that rumours of hour-long queues at Tube stations were myths: "We are not expecting to see queues of several hours at tube stations. London doesn’t work that way. It’s very different from other Games where they have had all the accommodation and venues in one area and everyone has to get on the one train to get somewhere."
Evers said he expects a 20% reduction in business travel as people take holidays or work from home. "We’re confident that people will change their behaviour because we’ve been working with businesses to do this. We’re confident people will stagger their behaviour, for example by using different tube stations."
There will be parking restrictions around Olympic venues and no stopping will be allowed on the ORN from 6am to midnight, which means anyone transporting equipment or supplies to a venue near the route will have to use a side street or deliver out-of-hours.
Evers also suggested event organisers look to attract a local audience for events if possible: "People will be looking to experience the buzz – look to get a local crowd in. Trying to tap into a community is something you can do."
Evers said he was confident the information available would help reduce disruptions: "We’re confident the information is there and that we can help you plan. We’re hopeful we’ll put on a great Games. We don’t want to be on the front pages at all - we want sport to be the focus."
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