Be more ambitious about getting Londoners active for the 2012 Games, says Sustrans

London, UK, 04/15/2011: A report released on Friday 15 April, 2011 making recommendations for transport in London during the 2012 Olympic and Paralympic Games has been supported by charity Sustrans.

Sustrans agrees with the London Assembly Report that there is a need for more accurate forecasting of what the transport demand will be during the Games, and that walking and cycling should be better recognised as necessary to the plans.

Sustrans adds that there should be more emphasis on completing the Olympic greenways – designated walking and cycling routes – and the routes that connect these greenways to local communities.

Eleanor Besley, Sustrans policy advisor said:  ‘Current projections suggest that the number of trips made in London during the Games could be higher than originally expected, which means walking and cycling will become necessary means of travelling rather than simply offering an enjoyable alternative to bus or train.’

Cycling is projected to account for one per cent of journeys to the Olympic Park. This is well below the current proportion of cycle trips in this area of London, and since levels of cycling are increasing year on year across most of London , by 2012 a one per cent cycle share of journeys to the Olympic Park would be a significant under-estimation.

Sustrans supports the recommendations of the Active Travel Advisory Group (ATAG) that significantly more ambitious targets for active travel methods to the London venues should be adopted. A more appropriate target would be for walking and cycling to account for around 5 per cent of journeys.

Eleanor continues; ‘Current plans also disincentivise active travel to the Games by including a travel card in the price of a ticket. It’s a commendable attempt to ensure maximum use of public transport during London 2012, but it is important that ways to encourage walking and cycling are considered too, either through ticket pricing or other incentives.

‘Additionally, continued encouragement for Londoners to walk and cycle more in the build-up to London 2012 will be an important part of ‘leading by example’ when visitors arrive for the Games.’

Sustrans also suggests increased demand for transport in London during the Games will be a taster of things to come.

Eleanor said; ‘Recent concerns around congestion during the Games offers a glimpse into London’s future and underline why the Mayor should take action now to prevent a worsening of air quality. In 2007, Sustrans outlined the need for a foot and cycle bridge across the River Thames between the Isle of Dogs and the Rotherhithe Peninsula, but this has not been not taken forward. These plans would help to ease the traffic, improve air quality and help to tackle the growing obesity problem in London .'

Source: Sustrans