Saturday, 8 September 2012

In praise of London's public transport

"Thousands at Games Finale Weekend" is one of the headlines on the BBC News website today. The opening line tell us "The Olympic Park is playing host to hundreds of thousands of people on the final weekend of the Paralympics."
I can testify that the Athletics Stadium was full this morning and other venues also appeared to be sold out.

It's a gloriously sunny  day, with the gentlest of breezes. Perfect weather for those inspired to ride a bike by the successful British cyclists in the Olympics and Paralympics. 

Above are rows of empty cycle racks at 10am this morning in the Olympic Park's Abbey Lane cycle park (at the Greenway entrance to the stadium, just beyond the end of Cycling Superhighway 2, and at the end of the Greenway cycle route from Becton). The photo below shows how full it was at 2pm today:

In fairness it may be that the other cycle parks are much busier. After all Cycling Superhighway 2 is awful and you can't cycle to the Paralympics on the Greenway. 

My bet though is that most people deemed public transport, even though it may be packed and sweltering, to be the more relaxing and safer way to travel, especially as a family. We need to get the quality of our cycle network up to the quality of our public transport for that to change.


Peter Kanssen said...

The other bike parks were much busier than that one. Why Eton Manor had ten times that - at least 20!

It didn't help that the cycle parking was about a mile away from the arena, and in Eton Manor's case tucked into the far corner of a coach park, with very bored parking attendants telling folks to get off their bikes under instruction from LOCOG.

Of course the free dr bike service there was excellent

Peter Kanssen said...

there was more for the Olympics, when Eton Manor had about 3-400, a lot of them the dutch who were camping nearby and had a deal with Dutch railways.

Paul M said...

To be fair, every Olympic/Paralympic ticket came with a free all-zones travel card for the day of entry. On our visit to the Olympic park in August, the Jubilee line worked flawlessly, we made the trip from Waterloo to Straford in about 20 minutes, ditto return. The stations were very crowded but everytjing was moving smoothly, if slowly, and the mood was universally cheerful and friendly. We left plenty of time for our journeys so there waas no stress whatever - more a case of wondering how to pass the time waiting for event to start.

Evidently however the conditions for those who wanted to go on with their everyday lives were atrocious, to the point that one person's everyday life came to a violent end.