Olympic Transport Warning; Torch to Buckingham Palace; Brangelina Party
Olympic Transportation Warning
LOCOG's director of transport says road transport problems could “snowball quite quickly” if not dealt with effectively during the London Olympics.
How London handles traffic during the Olympics has long been seen as one
of the linchpins to Games success. (Getty Images)
Richard George's comments came in an address to the London Assembly committee on Thursday in a discussion titled “What lessons can 2012 transport chiefs learn from the Diamond Jubilee weekend?”
During the Queen's Diamond Jubilee weekend some of the passengers who flocked to central London encountered congestion on the Tube, suburban and National Rail services as well as in moving around the city using other modes of transport. George said that LOCOG could learn from the weekend.
“There are always lessons to be learned,” he said. “It is a remarkably robust transport system, albeit when a large number of people hit it all at once you get challenges.”
“The sort of things I worry about is when we get unexpected road closures it affects what we can do moving people around. That can suddenly snowball quite quickly if things get out of hand.”
Problems encountered included long queues at certain train stations in the city centre, though these could have been prevented with better signage. Waist high signage was lost in the mass of crowds. George said that this was an area transport officials would work on.
“We spent a lot of time in terms of temporary Games-time signs - perhaps we spent too much time working on venue signs. We haven’t bothered thinking too hard about the permanent aesthetic signage because that’s what the operators have to deal with as well - clearly there was a lesson that was there for that kind of event," he added.
Mike Brown, managing director of the London Underground, said that his department would be focusing on the flows of people in and out of London Bridge station as that was the main area of problems over the Jubilee weekend and could be again this summer.
Torch to Visit Buckingham Palace, Downing Street
LOCOG has announced that the Olympic torch will visit the residences of the Queen and Prime Minister one day before the Olympic cauldron is lit to launch the Games.
Buckingham Palace is the official residence of Her Majesty Queen
Elizabeth II. (Getty Images)
On July 26, 175 torchbearers will carry the flame from Camden to the City of Westminster, with a celebration concert set for Hyde Park.
Highlights of the torch's trek will include stops at St Paul’s Cathedral, the site of the 1908 Olympic Stadium in White City and a visit to the Eurostar terminal at St. Pancras International.
“As the Olympic Flame takes its final strides around some of capital's most historic and famous sights there couldn't be a better opportunity for Londoners to come out and demonstrate their support for the Games and show to the world the best our great capital has to offer," said London mayor Boris Johnson.
London 2012 officials and Transport for London are expecting large crowds to line the streets of the city when the torch relay visits all 33 London boroughs from July 21 to 27.
"On 26 July in particular, roads in central London will be exceptionally busy and there will be a large number of road closures necessary along the route," the LOCOG release said.
TfL has already issued advice to motorists that, from mid-July, they should avoid driving in central London, around the Olympic Route Network and Games venues.
On Day 27 of its journey, the Olympic Torch will leave the Scottish capital and travel 140 miles to the English town of Alnwick.
Brangelina Planning Olympic Party?
Brad Pitt and Angelina Jolie are reported to have planned an “Olympics-themed party” two days before the opening ceremony.
Brad Pitt and Angelina Jolie at the 2012 Oscar Awards ceremony. (Getty
British Tabloid The Mirror
reports the black-tie soiree is intended to raise funds for Sport for All on July 25.
“Forget the official opening ceremony, this is the party to be at,” a source told The Mirror
"Angelina is on official work duty but Brad is ensuring fun will be had after hours, and is very hands-on organizing the booze-fuelled house party after.
“It’s going to be an Olympics-themed party, with huge buckets of home-made cocktails on offer.
"The who’s who of British and American celebrity will be in attendance, and invitees have been ordered not to take any photos from their phones.”
Torch Relay Update
The Flame will visit the Scottish Parliament building and Bamburgh Castle on Thursday.
Alnwick Castle awaits the Olympic torch. (AlnwickCastle.com)
Founder of charity organization Sight Aid International Sean Walls will carry the Torch on horseback as it passes through Selkirk.
A total of 130 Torchbearers will carry the Flame on its way to light the cauldron at Alnwick Castle, recognizable to many as the filming location for Hogwarts in the Harry Potter films.
Written by Christian Radnedge, Mark Bisson, Hannah Reid and Ed Hula III.
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