‘Public transport Games’ on track

Posted: 1 June 2011 | | No comments yet

The transport ‘Big Build’ that will help spectators & London moving during the Games is complete with works at the main ‘Gateway’ station for the Games now finished…

The transport ‘Big Build’ that will help spectators and the rest of London keep moving during the Games is complete with works at the main ‘Gateway’ station for the Games now finished the Olympic Delivery Authority (ODA) confirmed today.

The ODA announced that work was complete at the main ‘Gateway’ station for the Games, Stratford Station, as guests and media also took a test ride on the newly completed Docklands Light Railway (DLR) extension from Stratford International Station for the first time. The DLR extension will open to the public this summer and Transport for London (TfL) is on track to complete the Jubilee line signalling upgrade in July, a year ahead of the Games.

Together, the upgrades and improvement works mean that 10 different rail routes will serve Stratford station during and after the London 2012 Games, making it one of the most connected parts of the capital.

The vast majority of upgrades required for the Games are already operational and form part of a £6.5 billion transport improvement package across the UK to increase capacity and bolster services, enabling 100 per cent of spectators to travel to the Games by public transport, walking or cycling.

The milestone was marked today as the Mayor of London, Transport Secretary and Culture and Olympics Secretary, LOCOG Chair Seb Coe and ODA Chief Executive Dennis Hone showcased the routes that many spectators would use to arrive at the Olympic Park next summer. These routes included the Javelin® service to Stratford International, the new DLR extension linking Stratford International to Canning Town and also the new Northern Ticket Hall that will serve the Westfield shopping centre when it opens in September.

Boris Johnson, the Mayor of London said: “Thanks to the Games and the massive settlement we’ve secured from central government, London is seeing a neo-Victorian age of investment in its transport infrastructure. East London now has arguably some of the best transport connections in the world and they are here for all Londoners to take advantage of, a year ahead of the Games.”

Transport Secretary Philip Hammond said: “London 2012 has been the catalyst for permanent transport improvements which will benefit millions of people, not just for the Olympics, but for generations to come. This investment will ensure that the thousands of athletes and spectators attending the world’s biggest sporting event travel safely and efficiently around the UK.

“But crucially it will also allow us to minimise the disruption for those who are not attending the Games and are going about their everyday business during July and August next year. Obviously, with hundreds and thousands of additional passengers in town, I can’t promise that there will be no disruption to normal travel patterns. And some people will need to think differently about how they travel, possibly working from home, shifting journey times or avoiding the capital at particularly busy times. But I can guarantee that the Government, the Mayor and London 2012 are doing everything possible to get people to the Games, whilst ensuring the rest of the country keeps moving.”

ODA Chief Executive Dennis Hone said: “Working together with TfL, Network Rail and others, we have delivered a positive transport legacy for London a year before the Games. New trains, improved services and upgrades to infrastructure such as at Stratford Station, the main ‘Gateway’ station to the Games, will mean spectators can get to and from venues in 2012 and will leave East London better connected for decades afterwards.”

LOCOG Chair Sebastian Coe said: “We have seen over the last five or six years a collective spirit from all of our stakeholders who are focused on not just making London 2012 a huge success, but also creating a fantastic legacy for generations to come. The work on the transport infrastructure which has been completed is a great example of how organisations have come together to ensure that the venues are well connected for Games-time, giving spectators a fantastic experience next summer. And when the Games have left town, London will be left with an enhanced transport system which will benefit communities for generations to come.”

Peter Hendy, London Transport’s Commissioner said: “We’re on track to deliver all transport improvements well ahead of the Games and Londoners are already benefitting from this early legacy.

“Transport networks will be busier than usual, which is why we’re urging businesses to plan ahead now for how and when they travel, and have their goods delivered, during the summer of 2012. But working together, I’m confident we’ll keep London moving and deliver a fantastic Games of which the city and nation can be proud.”

Andrew Altman, Chief Executive of the Olympic Park Legacy Company, said: “As with every great city, the transport infrastructure will play a fundamental role in defining the success of the future Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park. Stratford has become one of the best connected destinations in London and is a central reason why we are already seeing a great deal of commercial interest in investing in the Park after the Games.”

Upgrades and enhancements have been delivered through partnership working and a united effort between the ODA, Transport for London (TfL), Network Rail and the Department for Transport, resulting in substantial improvements to London’s rail networks, particularly across the ten lines serving the 500-acre Olympic Park and its three stations – Stratford, Stratford International and West Ham. Together, these stations will accommodate just under 80 per cent of visitors to Stratford.

The latest edition of the London 2012 Transport Plan, which gives a comprehensive overview of the Games-time transport arrangements across the UK, was also launched on the day.

Transport improvements across London and the UK will leave behind a lasting legacy after London 2012. During the Games, enhancements will help handle expected capacity, with the three stations expected to handle around 80 per cent of spectators between them.

To increase capacity and improve routes leading to the Olympic Park, the ODA was required to manage a programme with stakeholders to upgrade lines, infrastructure and rolling stock. The bulk of this has now been introduced, with concentrated investment at Stratford Station, which will handle close to half of all Olympic Park spectators to the Olympic Park.

The station has benefitted from more than £125 million of upgrades and enhancements, with capacity trebled to accommodate 120,000 people during the morning peaks in 2012, when more than 200 trains will pass through the station each hour. This has been achieved through upgrades including dual-side opening doors on the Central Line at Stratford station, the introduction of three-car trains on the DLR, and mainline rail service improvements, including the North London Line, Lea Valley lines, Great Eastern Main Line and East London Line (see full list of improvements in factfile below).

Meanwhile, the establishment of the Javelin service at Stratford International will also help meet demand, as will investment in improving capacity at West Ham, where the ODA has built a new temporary bridge that will take spectators directly from the District and Hammersmith & City Line platform to the Greenway walking route and into the Olympic Park. This will also allow regular commuters to follow their usual route through the station with less disruption.

As the ODA concludes its management of Games-time investment, the baton has now been passed to Transport for London (TfL), Network Rail and the nations’ train operating companies to run services next summer.

Transport factfile:

  • 78 per cent of spectators are expected to travel to and from the Olympic Park by rail. The breakdown by station is:
    • Stratford International: 18 per cent
    • Stratford Regional: 61 per cent
    • West Ham: 21 per cent
  • The London 2012 transport strategy is for 100 per cent of spectators to travel to the Games by public transport, walking or cycling. However, this allows for Blue Badge holders, a limited number of who will be able to drive close to venues.
  • The completion of the Jubilee line signalling upgrade by Transport for London is due to be completed in July 2011, delivering a 33 per cent increase in capacity through faster and more frequent train services.
  • Transport investment includes:

ODA funded and managed works at Stratford (working alongside delivery partners London Underground and Network Rail):

  • Nine new lifts and nine new stairs to increase passenger capacity.
  • A new Central Line platform, allowing dual-side opening to speed boarding and alighting
  • A new station mezzanine entrance and ticket hall with ticketing and gate-line facilities.
  • Station power and systems completely upgraded.
  • Integration of previously disparate security, life-safety and customer information systems.
  • Platform de-cluttering and the reopening of the Eastern Subway.

ODA co-funded works (with contribution from TfL and National Rail):

  • Upgrades to the North London Line and Lea Valley lines, including associated signalling, track and overhead line works.
  • An additional freight loop at Stratford and associated lengthening of Platform 10a to handle 12 car trains.
  • The demolition and reconstruction of the existing Angel Lane road-over-rail bridge.

ODA co-funded works (delivered by DLR):

  • Introduction of three-car trains on the DLR.
  • Extension of the Docklands Light Railway from Canning Town to Stratford International, having completed the extension to Woolwich Arsenal
  • Other upgrades include accessibility improvements at Soutfields and Green Park stations; new high-speed domestic trains; new Victoria line trains and signalling improvements at West Ham
  • Improving accessibility is central to the upgrades and enhancements at Stratford Station – nine new lifts and eight new staircases have been installed to improve passenger flow and accessibility and in addition, platforms have been lengthened, widened and made clearer to reduce congestion