Press release

Spectators’ verdict: London 2012 transport gets thumbs-up

Games 'flourished' under transport test.


Even as London 2012 draws to a close with the Paralympic flame being extinguished, there have been more accolades for the Games, with eight out of 10 spectators rating as ‘extremely good’ their experience of getting home after an event during the Olympics, and almost three-quarters praising the ease and efficiency of public transport around London.

  • 1.4m used special Games-time transport services laid on by Olympic Delivery Authority

  • Transport system ‘flourished’ under Games test, London 2012 remembered ‘for all the right reasons’

  • On the Olympic Park, 2,000 worked round-the-clock behind the scenes at venues and in parklands to make sure sport never stopped.

Even as London 2012 draws to a close with the Paralympic flame being extinguished, there have been more accolades for the Games, with eight out of 10 spectators rating as ‘extremely good’ their experience of getting home after an event during the Olympics – and almost three-quarters praising the ease and efficiency of public transport around London.

The Olympic Delivery Authority (ODA) devised the London 2012 Transport Plan to deliver safe, reliable and efficient transport and leave a positive legacy across the UK, funded £429m of infrastructure improvements both within and outside London, organised extra services, and engaged with transport operators to ensure delivery to the best industry standards, in addition to being responsible for building the Olympic Park and the main venues and infrastructure for the Games.

Spectators were asked by the London Organising Committee (LOCOG) for their views on how well the transport system coped. Figures for the Olympics, reflecting the views of almost 95,000 people, show:

  • 83 per cent rating their experience of getting home after attending an event during the Olympic Games extremely good, including 86 per cent for spectators at the Olympic Stadium

  • Marks were even higher at some venues outside London: both Eton Dorney and Hadleigh Farm scored 89 per cent and the Lee Valley White Water Centre 88 per cent. Weymouth and Portland recorded 83 per cent

  • And 74 per cent of spectators judged as extremely good the ease and efficiency of public transport around London during the Games.

New ODA figures show that 1.4m spectators used special park-and-ride facilities, bus and coach services, and walking and cycling routes, organised by the ODA during the Olympic Games and Paralympic Games.

  • More than 100,000 made use of accessible bus shuttles linking railway stations and other transport hubs with venues – designed for disabled people and others with mobility needs.

  • At Eton Dorney, more than 364,000 took advantage of park-and-ride and rail shuttle buses to get to the venue.

  • Across the country, the ODA provided Blue Badge parking for almost 27,000 vehicles, and 14,600 cycle spaces or racks – which were fully-used at venues outside London.

Hugh Sumner, the ODA’s Director of Transport, said: “The transport system did not just survive this once-in-a-lifetime challenge, it flourished. Record-breaking investment ensured we had trains, buses, stations, and networks able to efficiently handle record-breaking numbers of spectators.

“People heeded our advice about changing their daily travel habits for just a few weeks to make life easier for everyone, whether Londoners, Britons or international visitors – and we are delighted that the planning paid dividends and has left people remembering London 2012 for all the right reasons.”

On the Olympic Park and Olympic Village, more than 2,000 staff from the ODA and their contractors ensured that venues and the parklands remained in top condition over the six weeks of the Games.

They were responsible for unglamorous but vital tasks like keeping swimming pool water top-quality and just the right temperature, and making sure public address and fire alarm systems always worked – working round-the-clock so the sport never stopped.

Simon Wright, the ODA’s Director of Venues and Infrastructure, said: “This was a real success story, a true team effort ensuring that the Games passed off with scarcely a hitch – the ODA, working with delivery partners CLM, and Lend Lease, UK companies and their workers, the Organising Committee and its staff, helped out by the extraordinary Games Makers, all united in the same purpose.

“We built the venues that have been part of everyone’s lives for the last six weeks – the millions who packed the stadiums and arenas, with billions watching on TV. The greatest thrill for us is that they seem to have liked what they saw – and that generations to come will be able to enjoy the Olympic Park just like they did.”

The ODA was also responsible, working with LOCOG, for enforcing advertising and trading regulations near venues to ensure easy access for spectators and prevent so-called ambush marketing. A team of 270 advertising and trading staff operated in 28 ‘event zones’ across the UK and dealt with just over 850 incidents over 35 days during the period of the Olympic Games and Paralympic Games.

In around 90 per cent of cases, traders or advertisers were advised about the regulations, and then stopped any activity that was in breach of them. It has not been necessary to take any legal action against any individual or company.

Alice Nugent, the ODA’s programme manager for advertising and trading, said: “We took a commonsense approach, enforcing the special regulations in force during the Games in a proportionate way. Recruiting experienced and professional enforcement officers from local authorities was one of the keys to achieving this – and ensuring that legitimate local businesses could operate normally whilst preventing illegal trading and advertising.

“We are delighted that the vast majority of cases were dealt with by explaining the regulations and the reasons they were in force – rather than requiring any further action.”

– Ends –

Notes to Editors:

  1. LOCOG’s Spectator Experience Research was conducted by Nielsen in July and August 2012. A total of 94,701 people aged 16 and over who had attended Olympic events were questioned. Separate research is being conducted in connection with the Paralympic Games.

  2. Spectators’ responses were classified as ‘extremely good’ when they gave a score of eight or more out of 10, and as ‘extremely poor’ with a mark of three or less.

  3. ‘Extremely poor’ scores for “getting home after you have attended your event”: three per cent overall and for the Olympic Stadium, two per cent for Weymouth and Portland, and one per cent for Eton Dorney, Hadleigh Farm and Lee Valley White Water Centre. One per cent also rated “ease and efficiency of public transport” around London extremely poor.

  4. Percentage figures reflect all respondents, including those who did not answer individual questions.

Published 10 September 2012