The London 2012 Active Travel Programme was launched by LOCOG in October 2011. The Commission is pleased to see a comprehensive set of walking and cycling routes available for Londoners and visitors to use in the lead up to Games-time, during the Games and after the Games are over.
We are satisfied that there are adequate plans for bike parking at the Olympic Park and that all reasonable efforts have been made to enable people to reach venues by walking and cycling wherever possible. The London 2012 Active Travel website adequately signposts people to other information sources including a map of private bike hire venues and to the Transport for London Active Travel website.
The Commission has previously noted that spectators travelling to the Games will be allocated free public transport and that this principle should be extended to spectators wishing to hire cycles.[i] We have now been advised that this would be logistically very costly and therefore is not a practical solution.
However, we note that the Mayor’s cycle hire scheme is already free of charge for the first 30 minutes, after an initial fee is paid for access to the scheme of £1 per day. We understand that the majority of casual users of the bike scheme are currently using and returning bikes within the 30 minute period and therefore are paying the access fee but not a time-based rate for hire.
Games-time visitors can therefore be confident that they will be able to access the bikes for short trips across London without paying a time based hire fee. While cross-London journeys would be difficult to complete within the free 30 minute period, we accept that casual users have the option of breaking their journey into more than one bike hire period.
The Commission has sought clarification from London 2012 delivery bodies on whether the Mayor’s Hire Scheme is being extended to enable spectators to cycle to the Games using these hire bikes, and what other measures are being considered to assist cyclists at Games-time.
We have been advised that planning permission is being sought to enhance the scheme to:
- provide additional bikes
- extend the scheme eastward and intensify the existing scheme
- install additional docking stations across the extension and as part of the intensification programme
- provide additional docking stations that are potentially within walking distance of the western side of the Olympic Park
We understand that this proposal is the subject of negotiations as part of the planning approval process. We have been assured that maps and guides will be updated as appropriate once the outcome of these negotiations is known and subsequent installation work has been completed. We will look forward to reviewing these revisions in the spring of 2012.
[i] The Commission in its Transport Snapshot Review highlighted this discrepancy between different transport modes. See page 16 of the Review. http://www.cslondon.org/wp-content/uploads/downloads/2010/06/CSL_Transport_Review.pdf