Spectators will be encouraged to cycle and walk to the London Olympic Games and yesterday saw the unveiling of a £10 million improvement package for cycling and walking routes to the Olympic park.
An additional one million journeys a day are expected to be made by foot and bike in London next summer, as spectators switch from other forms of transport. It is forecast that 300,000 spectators will cycle and walk to Games venues in London next summer. 7,000 bike parking spaces being provided at the Olympic Park.
A total of 75km of East London’s cycle routes have been "enhanced" by Transport for London through the 2012 Games Walking and Cycling Routes, a scheme conceived by charity Sustrans and funded by the Olympic Delivery Authority.
The enhancements, which span 113 individual schemes serving eight routes around the Olympic Park and river venues, are linked to existing networks and are part of a wider London Greenways network. All eight routes are now structurally complete with the Hackney Parks route being the first to have new signage installed as part of a rolling programme.
A statement from London Organising Committee for the Olympic and Paralympic Games said: "Improvements, which include new cycle crossings, improved paving and lighting for safety and security, will not only help spectators travelling to the Olympic Park and other London venues, but will leave London much better connected for cyclists and pedestrians after the Games. A variety of on and off-road routes will ensure that as many people as possible - from families and friends to experienced cyclists and walkers – are able to enjoy a fantastic way of experiencing the capital."
LOCOG and and TfL launched the London 2012 Active Travel programme to increase the numbers of people cycling and walking before, during and after the Games.
The London-wide programme is being delivered by LOCOG, the ODA and TfL, and has been developed through working with local authorities, the NHS, Sustrans, Ramblers, Walk England, Living Streets and a number of other organisations.
More than 50 projects encouraging more walking and cycling have been awarded the London 2012 Inspire Mark.
Projects include a London Cycle Guide developed by TfL and part-funded by the ODA that highlights the 2012 Games Walking and Cycling routes. The map, which was published yesterday, covers the area surrounding the Olympic Park, showing how the new routes integrate within London’s wider cycling network.
ODA Director of Transport Hugh Sumner said: "There has been a significant investment made by the ODA and its partners to ensure that London 2012 is truly a sustainable transport Games, with walking and cycling crucial to the overall strategy. We have worked together to deliver major improvements across London’s cycling and walking routes so that spectators can get to venues safely and on time. These enhancements will be left in place after the Games for the benefit of commuters and communities alike."
Transport for London's Director of Better Routes and Places, Ben Plowden, said: "The improvements we’ve made to the to the 2012 Games Walking and Cycle routes will not only help spectators access the competition venues in the cleanest, greenest way possible, but they will also be a legacy for Londoners long after the 2012 Games have finished. They are a further boost to the cycle revolution that the Mayor is bringing to the capital and as a result of the Active Travel programme launched today we expect around 300,000 spectators to walk or cycle to Olympic venues in London."
PIC: Mark Foster with London 2012 Mascots Wenlock and Mandeville