Paris trumps London's 2012 bid with 20 000 'Olympic bicycles' - BikeBiz

Paris trumps London's 2012 bid with 20 000 'Olympic bicycles'

All of the official bid dossiers for staging the 2012 Olympic Games contain 'eco-kind' transport schemes of one sort or another. The Paris bid is the most radical: alongside motorway and Metro expansions, the city said it will build 80kms of new cycle paths and would buy a pool of 20 000 bicycles for use by athletes and officials. London's bid dossier, released today, is cycle-friendly but not as pro-cycling as the Paris bid.
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All five bidding cities - London, Madrid, Moscow, New York and Paris - submitted their Candidate Files on Monday.

Paris and London are believed to be the front runners.

The Paris Candidate File, released earlier in the week, said: "Paris 2012 has planned to incorporate low-emission shuttle buses, a 20% reduction in road traffic during the Games and low-impact transport methods (bicycles, river shuttles, etc.)"

A pool of 20 000 Olympic bicycles would be available for free use by Olympians, the media scrum and Olympic officials.

42kms of new cycle paths would be built within the Paris city boundary. A further 38km would be built from the city to outlying venues.

London's bid is believed to stand or fall on whether the International Olympic Committee believes the city can 'solve' its transport problems. Much is made of London's congestion charging in the 600-page bid dossier, but the plans are nowhere near as cycle-friendly as those in the Paris bid, although Lea Valley would get a network of shared cycle and pedestrian paths.

London's 2012 bid said: "An 'active spectator' programme would encourage access to Olympic venues by bicycle and on foot, with a safe network of cycle paths and footpaths and secure bike storage at each venue."

50kms of new cycle paths would be constructed by Transport for London, costing $10m. The total cost of refurbing London's transport network to enable it to host the 2012 Games would be $30bn.

Global conservation organisation WWF and sustainable solutions experts BioRegional have endorsed London's plans for a 'One Planet Olympics'.

It's claimed London would host a "zero-waste, low carbon Games which deliver long-term social and environmental benefits to the city."

Robert Napier, CEO of WWF-UK said: "Hosting the Games is not just about avoiding harm to the environment and local communities, it is also a real opportunity to bring about lasting environmental and social improvement.

Sue Riddlestone, Director of BioRegional, said: "This is a fantastic opportunity for London show how we can host the greenest Games ever."

The IOC announces the host city on 6th July.

If London's bid was the one to catch the IOC's eye, the men's cycling road race would kick off the 2012 Games on 28th July. The race would start in Regent's Park and take in many of London's world-famous landmarks.

Track cycling and BMX racing would be staged at the Olympic Park, a 500-acre site containing the Olympic Stadium, the Aquatics Centre, the Velodrome and BMX Track

The Velodrome and BMX Track would form the backbone of a "legacy velopark", a hub for cycling in the south east of England for long after 2012. See link below.

London's 600-page Canidate File can be downloaded - in sections - from here:

http://www.london2012.org/.../the+candidate+file.htm

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