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London Olympics will be 'car free'

24 October 2007

  • Spectators will have to use public transport
  • Long-term goal to persuade people out of cars
  • Olympic officials will be driven in on closed roads

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London's Olympic Games in 2012 will attempt to ban car use in an effort to change people's travelling habits for the long-term.

The anticipated eight million spectators will be banned from travelling to the Games in a car, and will instead be forced to take public transport, walk or cycle.

Proposed Park-and-Ride schemes on the M25 and M11 have also been scrapped to force people onto public transport.

Only disabled people, competitors and officials will be allowed to park within car-exclusion zones, which will be set up around the main venues in London, Birmingham, Manchester, Newcastle, Glasgow, Cardiff, and Weymouth and Portland in Dorset.

Hugh Sumner, transport director for the Games, said: 'We have a very aggressive programme to make it the greenest Games in modern times. We want to accelerate the shift to public transport and cycling. We will make it very plain that people won't be parking.'

A report in The Times says that up to 800,000 people a day will attend the Games, and the organisation of their movements will be the largest logistical operation in peacetime.

Everyone who buys a ticket will be sent a personalised travel itinerary, explaining how to get to and from the venue. Discounted rail tickets will be made available, while those travelling within London will get an all-zone Travelcard that allows them to use all public transport for free.

Despite this, there will be disruption on the roads because the 80,000 athletes, officials and media attending the Games will receive special transport arrangements, including having roads closed around venues for their exclusive use.

The core route will run from Hyde Park Corner to Parliament Square, along Embankment to Tower Hill, on to The Highway and out to Stratford.

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