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Clearing the hurdles: 2012 transport plans

15 April 2011

Report by our Transport Committee looks at how plans are progressing to ensure transport runs smoothly during the 2012 Olympic and Paralympic Games, and identifies a number of risks still to be overcome.

Transport is considered one of the biggest risks to the smooth running of the Games.  Our investigation found that extensive preparations are underway, but organisers have an enormous challenge on their hands.

Our report, Clearing the hurdlesassesses preparations so far and identifies a number of concerns, particularly about the amount of extra transport capacity required, the Olympic Route Network (ORN), and the need for people to change their normal travel behaviour for the plans to work. 


On 16 July our Transport Committee wrote to the Mayor raising concerns about repair work to the M4, cycling in the Games lanes and lessons learnt from the test events at London Bridge.

On 16 March our Transport Committee wrote to the Mayor to welcome the good progress made overall on 2012 transport plans, and to highlight some areas of concern including the Jubilee line, the ORN and local traffic arrangements.

London 2012 and TfL agreed to provide us with quarterly updates on transport plans for the Games.  See the latest update we received, dated 3 January 2012 along with the response to additional queries we submitted about transport arrangements.  The Committee submitted further queries about the transport plans on 20 January.  Previous updates are available at the bottom of this page.

Recent work

In advance of the Transport Committee's hearing on Tuesday 15 November with 2012 transport chiefs, we received a number of submissions from organisations involved in or affected by transport arrangements during the Games.


We received an update from the Olympic Delivery Authority on its progress against each of the recommendations in our report on 29 September 2011.

On 15 August 2011 the Committee wrote to Transport for London about problems reported by motorists during the London-Surrey Cycle Classic road race, a major test event for the 2012 Games.  Read Transport for London's response.

The Committee also wrote to the Olympic Delivery Authority on 23 May 2011 to raise concerns about Southeastern's plans to run a reduced train service in the Greenwich area during the 2012 Games.  The Committee also requested details of any other proposed changes to rail or bus services during the Games.  The ODA's response sets out more detail about plans to alter rail services during the Games.  Transport for London has also responded to the Committee's request for details about changes to bus services.

A total of 5.3 million people are expected to attend the Games.  On the nine busiest days there will be around 550,000 to 650,000 tickets available to spectators for venues across London leading to more than a million Olympic-related journeys on public transport.  The entire network, including roads, Tubes and buses, will feel the strain.

Key recommendations in Clearing the hurdles:

The Committee has asked Transport for London and the Olympic Delivery Authority to provide a progress report on the delivery of new transport infrastructure in September 2011 - with updates every three months thereafter - including details of how new infrastructure has been tested and contingency arrangements if it is not delivered as planned.

The report also calls for a number of areas to be fleshed out in the final edition of the Olympic Transport Plan, including details of:

  • The full range of forecasts for the number of spectators and other visitors, and how exactly the demand will be managed.
  • How businesses, including small businesses, are responding to calls to change their transport requirements to ease pressure on the network.
  • The likely impact of the ORN, enforcement measures and when pedestrian crossings will be reinstated.
  • An update on the measures being taken to improve accessibility.
  • Action taken to increase cycling and walking, and use of river services.

Read our press release launching the report.

Read the full report and the evidence received during the investigation: