Londoners Quit Roads as Tube Bears Burden of Olympic Crowds
(Bloomberg Businessweek) Roads in central London are carrying one-fifth fewer vehicles as Olympic-only “Games Lanes” push more people to use rail services. The morning rush was hindered by a fire alert on a subway line to the Olympic Park and high-speed “Javelin” shuttle trains suffered disruption in the afternoon.
While the number of inner-London road users is 20 percent below the norm, Tube journeys yesterday were 5 percent higher than the average Monday peak, Transport for London said today. Passenger journeys on the Docklands Light Railway, which serves four Olympic sites, surged 65 percent to a record, though the predicted jam at London Bridge station as 50,000 people left the equestrian event in Greenwich failed to materialize last night.
“As a city, we’ve coped extremely well,” Culture Secretary Jeremy Hunt said. “Londoners have listened to the messages. We have lots of people who are actually working from home.”
Access to London’s streets is limited during the Olympics, with 30 miles of Games Lanes restricted to athletes, officials and the media from 6 a.m. to midnight. Roads in the southwest of the city were shut for hours at the weekend for cycle races that attracted more than 1 million onlookers, with more to be closed today as the route of tomorrow’s cycling time trial is tested. ...............(more)