London Olympics organiser LOCOG still hopes to release further cross-country day tickets, despite concerns from transport bosses that traffic chaos will ensue if non-Olympic travellers don’t stay off the trains.
So far 55,000 spectator tickets have been released for cross-country day (30 July 2012), and equestrian sport manager Tim Hadaway and his team had suggested more would go on sale closer to the Games.
But in a report leaked to the London Evening Standard, Transport for London (TfL) warned of waits of more than two hours at stations serving the Greenwich site if the full 75,000 person capacity of the park is used.
The report, which forms part of the planning application for the site, states: “Day three (cross-country) has the potential for two-hour-plus waits for the DLR [Docklands Light Railway] and Southeastern [stations] if the 75,000 [person] capacity is utilised. We recommend venue size at 50,000.”
A TfL spokeswoman told H&H the projection did not include a predicted 30% reduction of non-Olympic travellers on the London rail network during the Games.
“LOCOG has not made a decision on the sales of extra ticketing for this event, but we are in active discussions with them and when that decision is made we will make the appropriate travel arrangements,” she said.
“We’ve been clear that at certain times and places the transport network will be much busier than usual and are working with businesses and Londoners to ensure they have plans in place to enable us to manage demand on the transport network.
“We’re confident we’re on track to support a great London 2012 Games and keep London moving.”
LOCOG said it will present the latest planning information for the site to the London Borough of Greenwich Council’s planning department at the end of October, and that will include up-to-date attendance figures.
“We can’t say much more ahead of that meeting, but we are still doing a lot of work on crowd modelling and spectator movement,” a LOCOG spokesman said.
“We still hope that ticket numbers can be increased – but we do have to take TfL’s views very seriously.”
This news story was first published in Horse & Hound (22 September, 2011)