Select Committee on Transport Tenth Special Report



This paper sets out the Government's response to the Transport Committee's report "Going for Gold: Transport for London's 2012 Olympic Games" (HC 588-1 published on 16 March 2006). In preparing this response, we have worked closely with the Olympic Delivery Authority (ODA) and the London Organising Committee for the Olympic Games (LOCOG). This response also therefore reflects their views.

The Government, the ODA and LOCOG welcome the publication of this report and the Committee's continued scrutiny of the preparations for the 2012 Olympic and Paralympic Games. The Government shares the Committee's view that the Games will be good for London and welcomes the praise for the planning and work undertaken so far. The Government also acknowledges that ensuring that London's transport infrastructure is able to meet the challenge presented by the Olympics will require considerable effort.

The transport plans for the 2012 Olympic and Paralympic Games, as set out in the Candidature File submitted to the International Olympic Committee (IOC) and refined subsequently, were the culmination of 2 ½ years of work.

In developing these plans, the bid team looked closely at the experience of previous Olympic host cities and sought the advice of those involved in organising previous games. As a result the Government is confident that the London Games will have excellent transport which not only delivers for the Games themselves but also leaves a valuable legacy for years after.

Since the Games were awarded to London there have already been significant steps towards turning these plans into reality:

  • The London Olympic Games and Paralympic Games Bill has received Royal Assent, formally creating the Olympic Delivery Authority (ODA);
  • The ODA Chairman and Chief Executive have been appointed, and the ODA Board has been announced and met for the first time on 27 April.
  • The Docklands Light Railway (DLR) extension to City Airport opened on time and on budget in December 2005;
  • Tunnelling has commenced on the next extension of the DLR to Woolwich Arsenal;
  • Detailed design work for improvements to Stratford Regional Station has commenced;
  • The Jubilee line 7th car upgrade was delivered on time, increasing capacity by 17%
  • The first of the shafts to put underground the power lines running through the Lea Valley has reached a depth of 30 metres, and construction of the 6km tunnels will begin soon.

The Government's responses to the individual conclusions and recommendations of the Committee are set out below. Some of the recommendations and conclusions fall outside of the Government's remit. Where this is the case, the ODA and LOCOG have provided a response.

We have grouped issues where they are linked.

Response to Conclusions and Recommendations

1. The aim of this inquiry was to identify at an early stage emerging problems and areas of concern in Olympic transport planning. It is relatively early in the process of preparing for London's Games, and we did not therefore expect to find final delivery structures in place and fully operational. We did however wish to satisfy ourselves that planning for the Games was as far advanced as possible. What we have found is set out in detail in the following paragraphs.

The Government welcomes the Committee's interest in Olympic transport and its focus upon planning. The Government shares the Committee's belief that it is important to advance planning for the Games as far as possible at an early stage.

2. It is obvious that without excellent transport the Olympic and Paralympic Games will be at risk of failure. London's reputation as a leading world city will depend largely upon its ability to ensure that appropriate transport infrastructure is in place for the Olympic and Paralympic Games by 2012. The Government and the Mayor of London are the ultimate guarantors of the Games, including essential transport improvements and provision. We expect them to see that these are delivered to specification and to time.

61.The 2012 Olympic Games will be good for London. The hard work must now start to ensure that transport for the Games is fully adequate for competitors, officials and visitors. Transport is the key to a successful Olympic Games. It cannot be allowed to fail.

Transport infrastructure is central to the delivery of the Olympic and Paralympic Games. This is why we have set out clearly how transport will be delivered. Our plans are underpinned by the investment and improvements which are already being made to London's transport infrastructure and would have been in place by 2012 regardless of the Games.

In order to ensure that our transport plans are deliverable we have:

  • Based our plans around London's extensive existing transport network, and the improvements which were planned for before 2012, regardless of the Olympic and Paralympic Games
  • Ensured that the transport plans are fully funded and, in most cases, are already under construction.
  • Agreed a long term funding settlement with the Mayor, giving the certainty needed for long term investment in London's transport infrastructure. This has enabled Transport for London (TfL) to take forward its 5 year £10 billion investment strategy, which includes a number of major schemes in support of London's Olympic plans and the redevelopment of the Thames Gateway.

Construction is already underway on a number of the transport infrastructure projects needed in time for the 2012 Games. This includes the Channel Tunnel Rail Link (CTRL), which will open in 2007, the DLR extension to Woolwich and the DLR capacity upgrade project.

3. The Olympic transport budget will be a matter for the Olympic Delivery Authority and the successors of Interim Olympic transport. We expect them to implement excellent financial planning systems and to ensure sound stewardship of public money. This does not however absolve the Government from responsibility for overseeing carefully the financial health of the Olympic transport budget in the coming years. We expect it to be fully alert to problems and to step in quickly where difficulties arise.

As the sponsor of the ODA, the Department for Culture Media and Sport is responsible for ensuring that the necessary systems are in place to deliver the sound stewardship of public money. The systems will be outlined in the ODA's Management Statement and Financial Memorandum.

The systems include a Corporate Plan which sets out the goals and objectives and planned expenditure over the life of the Programme, an annual business plan and a budget all of which will be monitored at regular intervals ie monthly in the case of the budget. Progress will be monitored both by DCMS, as the ODA's sponsor and by the Olympic Board which will also determine the ODA's budget and Corporate Plan.

In addition all projects in excess of a cost threshold stated in the Management Statement and Financial Memorandum will be subject to scrutiny by an Olympic Project Review Group (the OPRG). The group will be chaired by DCMS and for the purposes of transport projects will be attended by representatives of Department for Transport and/or Transport for London. The OPRG, which will include among its membership, representatives of the ODA, the GLA and HM Treasury will provide fast track recommendations to the Secretary of State and to Treasury as to whether the proposed expenditure represents value for money and can proceed.

Progress on the delivery of the Olympic Programme will be reported to the Olympic Board and to DCMS on a regular basis and this will enable early intervention in the event of difficulties.

In addition, to ensure a smooth flow of funds to the Olympic Programme the funding parties: DCMS, Lottery, GLA and LDA will meet with ODA at least quarterly to get early warning of and address any cash flow issues that may arise.

In summary the Government, LOCOG and the ODA are committed to ensuring value for money on every Olympic project. The ODA provides regular progress updates to the Government on the status of Olympic projects. This allows the Government to identify any potential difficulties well before their impact could be felt and while there is still time to take preventative action.

The Government will also ensure that Olympic projects leave the best possible legacy for London. The real value of many Olympic schemes will be felt not only during the Games themselves, but in the years and decades that follow. To this end, all Olympic transport schemes are being driven by the potential to leave a lasting legacy, supported by temporary overlays. Some of the legacy accrues before the Games, especially training, skill and jobs.

4. Transport planning for London's Olympics appears relatively well advanced. We congratulate Interim Olympic Transport and LOCOG for this achievement. But there must be no slackening in pace if progress is to be maintained.

5. World class transport planners for the Olympic Delivery Authority and the London Organising Committee for the Olympic Games (LOCOG) must be appointed transparently and without delay. The organisational structures created within these bodies need to be focussed appropriately on the task of completing transport arrangements for the Olympic and Paralympic Games efficiently and effectively. We wish to be assured that the recruitment of transport related staff in Interim Olympic Transport and LOCOG is proceeding to plan.

62. It is early days in organising for the Games. The relevant legislation remains to be finally enacted in Parliament. The main Olympic organisations, including the Olympic Transport Authority, are yet to be set up or are running in 'shadow' form. Key appointments are pending.

63. Although good work on transport planning has been completed, the range of activities required to flesh out the provisional Olympic Transport Plan, and to ensure the necessary Olympic transport links are completed on time, is extremely extensive. We have detected relatively little sense of 'pace' in the Olympic project as yet. Our impression is that the Olympic organisations have yet to gel with the wide range of organisations in the public and private sectors so that the Olympic project can conclude successfully in 2012. This will need to happen quickly.

The Government welcomes the Committee's recognition of the good work that has been done by the Interim Olympic Transport team and LOCOG, supported by DfT and DCMS.

Interim arrangements for the delivery of the Games were put in place immediately after the Bid was won. This meant that work could continue with no hiatus while the necessary legislation was passed.

A number of critical appointments have already been made including those of Jack Lemley as Chairman of the ODA and David Higgins as Chief Executive of the ODA, Paul Deighton as Chief Executive of LOCOG and the ODA Board members. Under the leadership of this team, the ODA is focusing its efforts on: testing and validating its Olympic Park and Transport Plans, developing its procurement strategy, staffing up the organisations, land assembly and ensuring effective management systems are in place. Time spent now in careful planning is time very well spent.

The ODA is now approximately 50% through the recruitment of its Transport directorate, all functional heads are in place. The competition for the appointment of its Director of Transport is currently underway.

LOCOG has appointed its management team including a Head of Transport.

A significant milestone was achieved on 30 March when the London Olympic Games and Paralympic Games Bill received Royal Assent. This meant that from 3 April the ODA has been formally established. Amongst other things, the Act requires the ODA to develop a detailed Olympic Transport Plan.

This inquiry began soon after London was awarded the 2012 Games and we have made an impressive start. The International Olympic Committee (IOC) inspectors have praised London's early work to maintain momentum on its "ambitious and visionary" plans for 2012. The Chairman of the IOC's Coordination Commission, speaking at the conclusion of its first full visit in April 2006, also praised London's "very professional approach". The ODA has moved from bid to delivery phase, putting in place structures, recruiting staff and establishing formal working relationships with its key stakeholders.

6. Transport arrangements designed for members of the International Olympic Committee and other members of the 'Olympic Family' must be flawless.

Transport of the "Olympic Family", which includes athletes, team officials, technical staff, accredited media and officials as well as members of the IOC, are central to the success of the Olympic and Paralympic Games.

During the Bid stage an Olympic Family transport strategy was developed that recognised the unique transportation requirements of each constituent group that together comprise the Olympic Family. This was achieved through a process of information gathering from the IOC, reference to previous Games' transport plans, direct observation and knowledge transfer from previous Games, including the commission of Olympic Family specific work packages. The Olympic Family transport plans were an integral part of the transport strategy contained within the Candidature File and were subject to scrutiny by the IOC's transport experts.

The ODA is continuing to develop the detailed Olympic Transport Plan. It will work with LOCOG to develop detailed principles of operation for Olympic Family transport in accordance with the requirements of the IOC's Technical Manual on Transport, and will be subject to IOC scrutiny. Furthermore the ODA will work alongside transport delivery partners such as TfL to ensure that the appropriate measures are put in place, for example the Olympic Route Network and an Olympic Transport Operations Centre, to ensure flawless Olympic Family transport whilst continuing to keep London moving.

The ODA and LOCOG are developing a cohesive plan that commences with advance notification of individual Olympic Family members arrival in the UK, through airport arrival, transfer to hotel and ongoing transportation to venues and cultural events prior to their return home at the end of their stay in the UK.

7. Unless traffic in London falls by 15 per cent during the Olympic Games the Olympic Route Network will be congested and Olympic athletes and others may be delayed. It is not clear to us how this reduction can be guaranteed. Interim Olympic Transport needs to assure us that their assumption of traffic decline in London during the summer is rigorously worked out and realistic.

During the bid, careful analysis was carried out of London wide road traffic flows for the month of August derived from data collected between 1996 and 2003.

In addition the Olympic Bid team carried out analysis of lessons learnt from previous Olympic and Commonwealth Games (Athens, Sydney, Atlanta, Manchester) that demonstrates that there is an 'Olympic Effect' that further suppresses road traffic flows during Games Time. This is due to a number of factors including people deliberately taking holiday in order that they can watch the Games or by altering their travel patterns in order to avoid predicted traffic 'hot spots'.

A combination of this 'Olympic Effect' with the annual August demand suppression provides confidence that there will be sufficient road capacity to fulfil the dual objectives of providing efficient transportation for the Olympic Family whilst keeping London moving.

The London Olympic Games and Paralympic Games Act gives the ODA a range of traffic management powers. These will enable it to ensure that athletes, spectators and members of the public can make their journeys quickly and efficiently, even at the height of the Games.

In addition, the Government and the ODA are looking at a number of other of measures that could reduce background transport demand further during Olympic peak times. These could potentially include measures such as encouraging businesses to allow flexible working or temporary changes to delivery patterns.

8. Interim Olympic Transport needs to come forward with a system of traffic prediction that will allow the road systems in London to cope well with future local traffic pressures and, most importantly in this context, the influx of Olympic and Paralympic visitors. We would like to be assured that Transport for London and Interim Olympic Transport are drawing on the most sophisticated traffic control systems available world-wide in making arrangements for traffic control in 2012.

Transport for London is in the process of modelling the anticipated traffic pressures during the Olympics. This modelling work will be fed into the detailed traffic management plans used during the Games.

London already has the sophisticated traffic management systems that will be needed to control roads during the Games. The ODA is currently working with TfL to develop these systems further and the Government is confident that they will be delivered on time.

9. We are concerned that the road space available to the public as a result of catering for the Olympic Route Network may be reduced substantially. It will be vital that the disruption to public transport is minimised (Paragraph 57)

10. One hundred kilometres of public road will be reserved for transport for the Olympic Family. We reiterate our concern that could constrain the travelling public. We expect the Olympic planners to do everything possible to ensure that the public is not inconvenienced. There appears to be uncertainty about how the interaction between the dedicated Olympic Route Network and bus lanes will work. In the absence of clear demarcation there will be confusion. Interim Olympic Transport needs to clarify this without delay.

The Olympic Route Network (ORN) is a 240km road network designed to provide the "Olympic Family", in particular athletes, with swift and easy travel between accommodation and venues.

The ODA will work closely with its partners, including TfL, Highways Agency and relevant London boroughs and Local Authorities to ensure that the ORN delivers the Olympic Family journey times promised in the bid, while also keeping London and other parts of the country moving.

This will be achieved by calculating the demand for Olympic Family transport, the adoption of appropriate traffic control measures, assuring that potential road space conflicts (e.g. Olympic Family and public transport) are identified and solutions are adopted and through the careful selection of the roads that will form the Olympic Route Network. Route selection will be carried out in consultation with London boroughs and other highway authorities with TfL and the ODA jointly leading development of the operational plans for the ORN.

London has some of the most sophisticated urban traffic control systems in the world and these will be needed to manage road demand during the Games. The ODA will be working closely with TfL and London Buses to ensure that existing bus lanes, other priority measures and the ORN are integrated into a cohesive network.

11. We are delighted at the stress which has been laid by the organisers of the London 2012 Olympics on public transport from the outset. We now expect to see a detailed and workable plan created for co-ordinating the different transport modes in a way that serves the many thousands of visitors, and the local population, efficiently and effectively.

The Government welcomes the Committee's endorsement of the plans to encourage 100% of spectators to use public transport, walking and cycling to reach the games. The London Olympic Games and Paralympic Games Act 2006 requires to the ODA to prepare and publish an Olympic Transport Plan. This plan will set out in detail how different transport modes will be coordinated during the Games.

12. Too many UK railway and Underground stations are dirty and unpleasant. As a major 'gateway' to the Olympic Park, we expect Stratford Regional station - and all stations serving Olympic spectators - to be operated to the highest degree of efficiency possible, and for the quality of decoration, cleanliness and levels of staff assistance and security to be uniformly excellent. We would like an assurance from LOCOG and Interim Olympic Transport that this will be the case.

ODA will work with station operators and Network Rail to develop robust and detailed operational plans for all key stations - not just those serving Olympic venues.

Network Rail and most Train Operating Companies are currently participating in the Secure Stations Scheme, which has seen an almost 60% increase in accreditations since the Scheme was re-launched in March 2005. Over 100 stations in London are currently accredited and others are going through the accreditation process.

Under the Public Private Partnership there are contractual requirements for the ambience of every station owned or managed by London Underground (LU). This includes requiring that all public spaces are clean and free from litter and graffiti. LU are also currently overseeing a station investment programme that by 2011 will see all 253 stations owned by them modernised or refurbished by Tube Lines and Metronet, and the ODA will be funding additional LU staff and training for assisting passengers, cleaning and security duties.

13. According to Interim Olympic Transport, LOCOG, and the Mayor of London the 'Javelin' train will accommodate 25,000 passengers per hour, but the Association of Train Operating Companies' evidence suggests a figure of 12-14,000. This discrepancy must be resolved quickly.

14. We accept that there may be rare occasions on which a 'Javelin' shuttle train will need to carry standing passengers. But we wish to be assured by ATOC and Interim Olympic Transport that this will be the exception, not the rule.

We are confident in the Olympic Delivery Authority's plans for the Olympic Javelin to carry up to 25,000 passengers per hour at the busiest travel periods around the Olympic Park. The Javelin plans are based on running up to 10 x 12 car trains per hour in each direction, rising at close of traffic to 12 trains per hour. This is based on draft timetables drawn up in conjunction with London and Continental Railways (LCR) and the Strategic Rail Authority.

The figure of 12-14,000 suggested by ATOC was based on the assumption that Games-time service patterns would run 8 trains per hour in each direction.

The Javelin service will use the CTRL high speed rail connection and Stratford International station, one of ten rail lines and three stations that will serve the Olympic Park providing a total capacity of up to 240,000 spectators an hour. This capacity is designed to handle the busiest travel periods during the Games and will enable 100% of spectators for the Park to travel by public transport. Journey times on the Olympic Javelin service will be 7-10 minutes (7 minutes Stratford to St Pancras, 10 Minutes Stratford to Ebbsfleet). The ODA will work with LCR, Government and the new franchisee Govia to plan the detailed service pattern which meets operational and safety standards.

As necessary, some passengers will stand as planning and safety standards allow. This service will be popular and loadings will be higher than normal, but with 10 rail routes serving Stratford spectators will have a choice as to how to visit the Games.

15. We are concerned that the capacity at Stratford International station could be severely stretched, and that there may be the potential for dangerous platform overcrowding. We expect this point to be checked very thoroughly, and for the Government and Interim Olympic Transport to provide complete reassurance that there will be sufficient exits from the platform to ensure swift and safe transit for Olympic and other passengers.

Stratford International Station is a modern state-of-the-art station which complies with every existing standard for passenger safety.

The ODA will be working with Government, LCR and Govia, the operator of CTRL domestic services to ensure that Stratford International Station accommodates the demand for the services.

The plans for the Olympic Javelin service, developed as a result of modelling during the Bid, include a number of improvements to Stratford International Station to increase its capacity and, in particular, to help spectators get on and off the Javelin service quickly and safely. These include new ramps and lifts to remove any potential bottlenecks around the station stairs and escalators, as well as improving access for those with physical disabilities.

16. It has been estimated that each 'Javelin' shuttle train could stand at the station for between three and five minutes while passengers alight and board. It is possible, therefore, that the actual journey time could be longer that the seven minutes estimated and the hourly frequency lower than anticipated. We would like Interim Olympic Transport to check carefully and tell us the length of time trains will stand at the stations and whether this will have an adverse affect on the anticipated frequency of the 'Javelin' shuttle.

The ODA has given assurances that 'Javelin' trains will only make stops of sufficient length of time to load and unload passengers from a full train in a safe and timely manner. The timetable modelling takes due account of the required dwell times. Consequently there is no adverse affect on the expected frequency and journey time of the shuttle as this has already been factored in.

The Javelin service has been based on the following assumptions:

  • The journey time from St Pancras to Stratford is 6.5 minutes
  • The station dwell-time at Stratford is 3.5 minutes

These timings permit the operation of up to 12 trains in any one hour, at a frequency of one train every 5 minutes.

17. The Government must assure us that the tests planned for the Hitachi trains will be sufficiently robust to guarantee their operational effectiveness by 2012.

The Hitachi trains are scheduled for introduction to passenger service with South Eastern Trains in December 2009. Their operational effectiveness will have been exhaustively tested prior to service introduction, and, by the time the Javelin service is required, over 2 years practical operational experience will have been gathered.

18. The large numbers of pedestrians who are expected to transit Stratford International and Regional stations must be able to move smoothly and safely into the Olympic Park. We expect there to be close liaison between Interim Olympic Transport and the Stratford City developers to ensure that these routes will be adequate to accommodate the large numbers of pedestrians predicted for the Games, as well as being adaptable for the legacy environment. We would like to be assured by the Government that planning is in place to cover these points.

In January 2006 the ODA published a revised masterplan for the Olympic Park which closely integrates its design with the Stratford City Development. The ODA has carried out strategic pedestrian planning and modelling to ensure that the new masterplan works efficiently for pedestrians. This planning will be continued and updated right up to the Games as Olympic and Stratford City plans develop.

19. There will be increased pedestrian activity during the Games. We recommend that all Olympic transport plans and developments take as full account as possible of the needs of pedestrians and cyclists. It will also be essential that well-designed pedestrian routes, and good information and signage is put in place to ensure the safety and comfort of pedestrians and cyclists.

The ODA is working with TfL Cycling and Walking on a review of the extent and quality of existing cycling and pedestrian route infrastructure, both in the vicinity of the Olympic Park and across a wider catchment area, and will also undertake this exercise in relation to other Olympic venues. The review will enable the identification of any gaps in the network and parts of the network that require varying degrees of upgrade and improvement.

Our objective is that new cycle and pedestrian infrastructure developed for the Games, links seamlessly into the existing National, London and local networks, such as the London Cycle Network.

Work has already commenced to engage stakeholders in the strategic planning process for Games walking and cycling. This includes cycle interest groups such as Sustrans, London Cycling Campaign, pedestrian groups such as Living Streets, and others. The relevant London Boroughs, GLA and ALG have been involved in this early development work.

Once the review of existing routes has been undertaken and stakeholder engagement has produced a final agreed scoping document, we will commence route planning work. This will be outlined in more detail in both the Olympic Transport Plan and a cycling and walking Delivery Plan.

This is likely to include the improvement of sections of national/regional strategic walking and cycling routes, such as Greenways, the Thames Path and National Cycle Network. It will also include more local links into the Olympic Park and other venues including improvements to existing footways, pedestrian crossings and footbridges. All new routes and upgrades will be adequately catered for in terms of signage and way finding. It is hoped that some of these routes can be completed for usage well in advance of 2012.

The ODA is in the early stages of reviewing demand for cycle parking at the various Olympic venues. They will look at examples of demand for cycle parking at other Games and sporting events, as well as considering TfL guidance and advice from cycling organisations.

Promotion, awareness raising and information on cycling and walking will also feature significantly on the build up to the Games.

20. We expect those responsible for Olympic transport to be alive both to the sensitive natural environment in London and other Olympic locations, and to the wellbeing of participants and local residents, when designing access arrangements for the various Olympic venues. Interim Olympic Transport should tell us how this will be achieved.

The ODA and LOCOG are committed to ensuring that the 2012 Olympic and Paralympic Games are sustainable and accessible. This includes minimising the environmental impact of all Olympic transport arrangements and ensuring that they provide the greatest possible benefit to both the local community and visitors to the area both during and after the Games.

These objectives will be promoted through the ODA's own quality assurance systems, working with the existing Local Highway Authorities and monitored through statutory mechanisms such as environmental impact and transport assessments as part of planning permissions.

21. We have evidence that transport links to ExCel, an important Olympic venue, are under considerable pressure now. Interim Olympic Transport needs to examine and tell us whether the capacity of the Dockland Light Railway is sufficient to accommodate the predicted passenger flows at ExCel during the Games and, if not, to come forward with proposals for additional transport. (Paragraph 84)

The Government acknowledges the need to ensure adequate access to ExCel in time for the 2012 Games. The planned three-car upgrade to the Docklands Light Railway, due to come into operation by 2009, will increase capacity by 50%. This will be supplemented by planned improvements at Custom House and Prince Regent stations.

22. We expect the Association of Train Operating Companies (ATOC) and Interim Olympic Transport to produce an integrated event and rail travel ticketing system for the Olympic and Paralympic Games as a priority, and to set out a timetable for implementation. ATOC and the Olympic transport planners need to rise to this important challenge.

In the Candidature File we stated that we intended to put in place for the Games an integrated ticket covering both London's public transport system and event entry.

An integrated ticket for the London network already exists in the form of travelcards. Both cardboard and 'smart' tickets, such as TfL's Oyster card, can enable passengers to travel around the London public transport network freely if their ticket is the travelcard type.

For such a system to be truly integrated for events both within and outside of London, as the Committee recommends, the system developed will have to be usable on the London modes controlled by the Mayor, as well as on the wider heavy rail network. Ongoing discussions around 'smart' ticketing present an opportunity to further this agenda.

TfL, the ODA, LOCOG and Government all have a role to play. The Department for Transport is already working to encourage Train Operator adoption of smartcard technology in ticketing, as demonstrated through the recent South West Trains franchise specification which invites bidders to offer smartcard solutions for the entire South West trains network as well as for London Zones 1-6.

It is DfT's expectation that this type of ticketing will be widely used on the heavy rail network before 2012, enabling ODA to consider the use of smart tickets for combined travel and entry.

23. Estimates for numbers of spectators attending sailing events at Weymouth and Portland vary between 5,000 and 15,000. This uncertainty needs to be resolved quickly to allow adequate transport provision to and from the sailing venues to be made in time. We expect Interim Olympic Transport to resolve the numbers in cooperation with Dorset County Council without delay. This is a busy holiday area in August and local transport infrastructure is likely to be under pressure in any case. .

The Candidature File and associated venue transport plans for Weymouth were based on 15,000 spectators. The figure of 5,000 spectators was mentioned in the pre qualification questionnaire in January 2004 and subsequently revised.

The ODA's current plans, recognising the 6 likely event viewing locations in the area, have been developed on the basis of 15,000 spectators attending at any one time. An outline venue transport plan was developed in conjunction with Weymouth and Portland district council which looks toward establishing park & ride facilities, direct coach services and enhanced rail services to serve these events.

Weymouth has long experience of successfully managing far larger events than those related to the Olympics. For example, in 1994 the Tall Ships race hosted at Weymouth attracted 300,000 spectators over the 4 day event and each year the Weymouth Carnival attracts around 70,000 visitors.

The ODA will continue to work with Dorset County Council and other agencies. The Weymouth sailing event has unique transport challenges, and planning and consultation is ongoing.

24. Arrangements for spectators to watch sailing events afloat and in safety appear not to have been made. These now need to be planned in conjunction with Dorset County Council.

The ODA is aware of this issue and will work closely with Dorset County Council and others on these plans.

25. The proposed Weymouth Relief Road, cited by Dorset County Council as necessary for Olympic transport, did not however feature in the London Olympic Candidature file. This uncertainty must be resolved, and we look to the Department to take the lead in doing so.

The Weymouth Relief Road was not included in the plans set out in the London 2012 Candidature File on the basis that the Olympic Transport Team do not believe it is essential for Olympic transport at Weymouth. However, the proposal by Dorset County Council is being studied separately by the Department, through the regular regional funding mechanisms, and a decision will be made in due course.

26. The 2012 Games are London's Games. But not all activities will take place in London. Where this is so, it is vital that the Olympics transport planners, the relevant local authorities, and the Government act effectively in concert to ensure that suitable transport provisions are made. The Government needs to assure us that appropriate structures are in place to achieve this.

The Government has ongoing liaison with the ODA concerning access to regional venues. As well as the sailing at Weymouth, these venues include the rowing events at Eton Dorney and the regional football stadia. Initial Venue Transport Plans have been developed by the ODA for every venue. ODA is developing detailed transport plans and will consult all relevant local authorities. Suitable transport provisions will be made.

Regional football stadia routinely handle crowds in excess of those expected for Olympic qualifiers. These venues already have adequate transport provisions in place.

27. The Disability Rights Commission (DRC) told us that "the 2012 Olympics provide an historic opportunity to dismantle major transport barriers to disabled people's participation" in life in London and beyond." We agree wholeheartedly.

The Government agrees with the assessment of the Committee and the DRC that the 2012 Olympic and Paralympic Games present an opportunity to improve the accessibility of transport. The ODA is incorporating accessibility requirements into Olympic transport plans.

Whilst the Olympics will provide an additional driver to improvements, we have already achieved a great deal to ensure that disabled people are able to access transport nationally. The new services and infrastructure which will be delivered for 2012 build on existing provisions such as the introduction of accessibility regulations making all new trains, buses and coaches accessible to disabled people, including wheelchair users.

Over 4,400 new, accessible rail vehicles have already been introduced into service and 46% of the bus fleet is compliant. This has already had a significant impact on the day to day mobility of disabled people and London is realising these benefits earlier than other areas of the country with an accessible taxi fleet and wheelchair access to its entire bus fleet. These improvements to surface transport in London have made it one of the most accessible cities in the world.

London Underground has announced that it will be implementing a programme to improve accessibility across the Tube network. The aim is for 25% of Tube stations to have step-free access by 2010, with a third of all stations being accessible by 2013. So far as is possible, works will be accelerated to meet the needs of the Games. Although it will not be possible to ensure full accessibility across the entire Tube network in the immediate future, the Government believes that the works outlined above should be sufficient to help ensure accessible Tube access to the Games. A programme of replacing rolling stock on the Underground will further aid the cause of accessibility.

Other initiatives, such as the £370 million "Access for All" fund which is ring-fenced specifically to deliver a programme of access improvements across the rail network over the next 10 years and measures stemming from the Disability Discrimination Act 2005 which will be in place by the end of this year, will further strengthen the accessibility of public transport.

28. Full consideration must be given to those with disabilities in all aspects of planning for the Olympic and Paralympic Games, including transport. We expect the Government to give consideration now to the appointment of a member of the Olympic Delivery Authority Board who is a "disabled person who has a representative mandate to speak for a full range of disabled people", as suggested by the Disabled Persons' Transport Advisory Committee (DPTAC).

The Government has given high priority to appointing to the ODA Board a Member with specific responsibilities for disability issues. The Government specified a requirement for a person who has worked successfully with disability groups as a lobbyist or advisor, who has an understanding of access issues for disabled people, a working knowledge of the Disability Discrimination Act and its impact on and practical implementation of solutions to accessibility issues, plus experience of the staging of or advising on national or international events in a sporting context. As a result, a person with the required experience, and who is well placed to speak on behalf of a wide range of disabled people, has been appointed to this "disability" role on the ODA Board.

29. We welcome the intention of Transport for London (TfL) to invest in audio-visual announcements on the buses in London by 2009 in good time for the Games. There must be no slippage in this timetable. Audio-visual announcements will assist not only people with disabilities but also strangers to London.

30. Outside London only 30 per cent of the national bus fleet is even wheelchair accessible and audio visual aids are rare. Olympic organisers must ensure that all the buses serving Olympic venues outside London are wheelchair accessible at least. Buses used for Olympic venues however should not be provided by removing them from normal routes to the disadvantage of local residents, but should be provided additionally to the normal complement.

31. Audible and visual information systems are not mandatory under the current Public Service Vehicle Accessibility Regulations (PSVAR). Where buses to Olympic venues outside London meet the PSVAR this will be on a voluntary basis. This is unacceptable in the 21st century. The Government must amend the PSVAR to require the provision of audio-visual announcement on buses.

The Department for Transport was unable to introduce a requirement for audible and visual information equipment into the original PSVAR because the technology was not sufficiently well developed at that time. Whilst progress has been made, several technical and operational issues lead us to conclude that regulation would at this time be premature.

However, there are signs that those responsible for specifying transport services are beginning to fund such systems on a voluntary basis and we commend Transport for London's plans for an integrated 'at-stop' and 'on-vehicle' audible and visual route and destination information system.

The PSVAR allow operators to achieve the full economic life from each vehicle type and end dates of 2016 and 2017 are specified for large single deck buses and double deck buses respectively, by which time all such vehicles must meet the requirements of the PSVAR.

The transition to a fully compliant fleet will therefore take place over time and operators will inevitably use a mixed fleet of low floor accessible vehicles and older, non-accessible vehicles. How that fleet is allocated and replaced is entirely a matter for the vehicle operator, and neither the PSVAR nor the DDA permit the Department to intervene in this respect.

However, Local Authorities may specify requirements for tendered services, and this can include the provision of accessible vehicles and audible and visual information systems as a contract condition, if they wish to do so.

LOCOG and the ODA will be developing detailed venue transport plans for all venues, including those outside of London, will consult with the relevant transport authorities outside of London and will ensure that accessibility is actively considered and planned for.

32. Glasgow has put in a bid for the Commonwealth Games in 2014, and there are plans to bid for a Deaf Olympics in London in 2013. Improvements in accessible transport outside London will increase the opportunities there to host international sporting events. We look to the Government to lay the groundwork for disabled access to future major sporting events throughout the UK.

The Government is committed to an accessible transport system in which disabled people have the same opportunities to travel as other members of society. We have already made significant advances in this area which the Committee acknowledged in the reports of its inquiries into Disabled People's Access to Transport held in 2003 and 2004. We have set clear "end dates" for all trains, buses and coaches to meet accessibility regulations and the number of accessible vehicles in service continues to rise as older vehicles are replaced (for example, 46 per cent of the bus fleet is already accessible and over 4,400 new, RVAR-compliant rail vehicles have been introduced into service).

We understand that making provision for disabled people as both participants and spectators in proposals for international sporting events should be seen as an integral part of any bidding document. The Commonwealth Games in Manchester, during which the accessibility of both transport and infrastructure was singled out for particular praise, showed how successful the UK can be at hosting this type of event. We are confident that, together with the amendments made to the Disability Discrimination Act 1995 by the 2005 Act which will significantly strengthen and extend disabled people's civil rights when travelling on public transport, the UK will increasingly be seen as the natural choice to stage such events.

33. Consultation on the part of the interim Olympic Transport Authority with the Disabled Persons' Travel Advisory Committee (DPTAC) will be needed at an early stage to determine the design of the pedestrian routes from transport hubs to the Olympic Park to enable these to be fully accessible.

34. We commented earlier on the need to ensure proper pedestrian access to Games venues. DPTAC must be involved in this work.

35. DPTAC knows what works for people with disabilities and must be consulted on the design of the Games Mobility Service. Mr Betteridge of DPTAC said "we are sitting on lots of information which could be being used right now but we are not being asked for it." This is nonsensical. We expect the Government and the Olympic transport organisers to start listening to DPTAC now.

The Government, ODA and LOCOG are grateful for DPTAC's involvement during the bid and look forward to working with DPTAC during the development of the Olympic Transport Plans.

The ODA will ensure that the needs of disabled visitors to the Olympics are fully represented, including during the detailed planning and design of transport and venues.

LOCOG and the ODA are setting up an Olympic and Paralympic Games Equality and Inclusion Forum, which will ensure that the needs of disabled visitors to the Olympics are fully represented. The purpose of the forum will be to provide technical and user expertise into the planning and review of transport arrangements for the Olympic and Paralympic Games. DPTAC will be invited to sit on this forum.

36. Manufacturers must ensure that the size of all wheelchairs are suitable for transport by train. The design of trains need to take account of passengers using wheelchairs. Good co-operation between manufacturers and train operating companies will be essential if this is to be achieved. In its response to our predecessor committee's report 'Disabled People's Access to Transport: A year's worth of improvements?' the Government indicated that it proposed in 2005 to commission research into the "issues surrounding the carriage of scooters by public transport…including rail". We would like the Government to tell us the results of this research now.

37. Regardless of the actions of manufacturers the train operators must adopt a common and fully transparent approach by 2012 to allowing electric wheelchairs onto their services. We also wish to know what arrangements are to be taken by the train operators to carry wheelchairs of foreign manufacture which may not conform to UK standards.

38. Our predecessor committee noted last year the importance to people with disabilities of consistency amongst train operators in permitting wheelchairs on their rolling stock. The evidence we have received suggests that this has yet to be achieved. We now want the Association of Train Operating Companies (ATOC) and the train operating companies to tell us when this will happen.

Since 1 January 1999, all new trains have had to comply with the Rail Vehicle Accessibility Regulations 1998 (RVAR). These include a requirement to provide at least one wheelchair space (the exact number required depends on the length of the train), the dimensions of which are based around the ability of a passenger in a "reference wheelchair" to board and safely position themselves in that space. The size of the reference wheelchair is based on an international standard and exceeds the dimensions of the majority of manual and electric wheelchairs.

Almost all older trains that were introduced prior to the RVAR also have space for at least one wheelchair, although the space provided might not quite achieve the dimensions required by RVAR.

We understand that Transport for London are considering replacing some of the older trains that currently serve Stratford, with new units. Both these, and the Hitachi trains that will provide the fast "Javelin" service, will be fully compliant with RVAR.

The lifting of the transport exemption from Part 3 of the Disability Discrimination Act 1995 in December will ensure that all train operators are legally obliged to carry wheelchair users, provided there is a space available.

The accessibility regulations do not require train operating companies to carry mobility scooters and, until recently, the majority would not carry them. However, scooter design and technology is continuing to develop and smaller, lighter and more manoeuvrable models are now available. Battery design has also improved significantly. In the light of these developments, every train operator will now accept lightweight scooters which can be folded and carried on board as luggage. We currently believe that the final decision on whether to carry a scooter on a train rests with individual train operating companies as they are best placed to take into account the rolling stock they use and local conditions when making their decision. More specific information on the limitations each train operator places on the carriage of scooters can be found on the National Rail website or by calling the National Rail Enquiry Service.

As the Committee is aware, the Department for Transport has commissioned research to look in more detail at the issues around the carriage of scooters on public transport services generally. The first stage of that research, comprising an international literature and regulatory review, is due to report shortly and the Committee will be sent a copy of that report when it is published. The results and recommendations of this research will help to inform future policies.

39. New EU legislation, requiring airport operators to provide a service at airports, and during aircraft boarding for passengers with disabilities, and requiring airlines to provide certain facilities for those with disabilities whilst on board, will have been implemented in the UK well before the 2012 Olympics. This is good news. The Government needs to ensure that these provisions are applied promptly, and to monitor carefully how the new legislation works in practice.

The European Parliament approved the proposed Regulation on the rights of disabled people and those with reduced mobility when travelling by air by a very large majority when it voted on 15 December. We now expect it to be adopted without further debate at a forthcoming meeting of the Council.

The Government very much welcomes this outcome, as the proposal was a priority for the UK Presidency and will be a genuine enhancement to the lives of disabled people by enabling them to take full advantage of opportunities for air travel for business and leisure.

The anti-discrimination provisions in the Regulation will take effect one year after adoption, with the rest following after a further year to give the industry a reasonable period to reorganise its provision of ground services to disabled passengers. The Regulation will have direct effect in the UK, but the Government will ensure that implementing regulations are laid in good time to provide for the required enforcement regime.

40. Our evidence from organisations with disabilities is that "mainstreaming" access provision for the sector on public transport is the policy which should be adopted by the Olympic Games organisers. We expect Interim Olympic Transport to take full account of this in its transport planning.

The Government is committed to an accessible public transport system in which disabled people have the same opportunities to travel as other members of society. Our response to recommendation 27 outlines how we are already mainstreaming accessibility for disabled people into public transport services and the achievements that are already in place in that respect. We will continue to build on these in partnership with industry and disability organisations.

The Government has received assurances from the ODA that Olympic transport has and will take every possible step towards "mainstreaming" access provision. This is particularly critical given that London is also hosting the Paralympic Games, which are the second largest sporting event in the world and will place an unprecedented spotlight upon accessibility issues around the capital.

41. There is a potential conflict between the present pattern of lorry deliveries in London, which exclude night time deliveries, and the requirements of Olympic transport, which may necessitate them. We expect the Mayor of London and Interim Olympic Transport to consult widely about any changes; and in coming to a decision to weigh carefully the requirements of the Games and those of local residents.

The Government agrees that there may need to be changes to delivery patterns both before and during the Games. Transport for London has assured us that residents and boroughs will be consulted on any possible changes.

42. The Government, police, and security forces must spare no effort to ensure that effective security is put in place for the Olympic sporting events, wherever these take place in the UK. We are pleased that early planning against terrorist and other threats to the security of the Olympic and Paralympic Games is underway. But there is no room for complacency. The security of the Games will be complex and the agencies involved need to communicate well in order to operate effectively.

43. We were given evidence of poor liaison between the Olympic bid team, the Metropolitan Police, and the Department for Transport's Transport Security and Contingencies Directorate on one occasion. We want an assurance from the Government that there will be no repetition. We will keep transport security for the Games under close watch.

The Government has established specific governance arrangements at Cabinet level, chaired by the Home Secretary, which would be ultimately responsible for security and associated policy matter for the Games.

The Cabinet Office has established a Whitehall Olympic Security and Resilience Group. This Group will both prepare the ground for Ministerial discussions and act as a clearing house at official level for resolving high-level security and resilience related issues. The group compromises representatives from the relevant stakeholders, including the Department for Transport's Transport Security and Contingencies Directorate and the Metropolitan Police. This will enable a co-ordinated and joined-up approach to transport security for the Games.

44. The Government must guarantee that the security budget for the Games will be sufficient to take all necessary measures to ensure the safety of the spectators and participants. We expect the Government to have drawn up a detailed security budget for the Games by the end of 2006.

The Government agrees that the provision of a safe Games for both participants and spectators alike is a major objective. Work is going ahead now to identify the costs likely to be incurred, as the basis for drawing up a more detailed budget.

45. The solution to 'bridging' the distance between Stratford International station and Stratford Regional station by the Docklands Light Railway seems clumsy at best; at worst it may be ineffective. A rail link seems to us most unlikely to have been what was originally envisaged when the Secretary of State placed a condition for a mechanised link in the Transport and Works Order covering Stratford International station. We want the Government to examine this issue again and to arrive at an imaginative and practical solution.

The distance between Stratford Regional and Stratford International Stations is only some 400 yards. As part of the deemed planning permission or the CTRL there is a requirement on Union Railways North to provide a mechanised link between the two stations before the international station opens. The fulfilment of this condition is a matter for Union Railways North and the London Borough of Newham, as the local planning authority.

However, separately to this planning requirement, TfL has applied for Transport and Works Act Powers to construct a new extension of the DLR between Canning Town and Stratford International. As well as providing vastly improved access between the Olympic Park and ExCel it will also offer a direct link between the two Stratford Stations. The ODA have confirmed that this will provide perfectly adequate access between the two Stratford Stations during the Games, when the number of passengers wanting to interchange between the two stations is likely to be very small.

46. The announcement on 8 February 2006, after we had finished taking evidence, of the Government's decision at a cost of £63.5 million to fit out the new Thameslink station for operational use by the end of 2007 was welcome. Our view had been that completing the new station would be essential to the success of Olympic transport, and we pressed the Minister on this when she gave evidence to us. This decision will help ensure a safe, comfortable and speedy transit for passengers going to the main Olympic Park at Stratford in east London. Writing to us the Secretary of State agreed "As well as improving the interchange at King's Cross St Pancras, the new station will provide better access for passengers who use the Olympic Javelin service on the CTLR from St Pancras to Stratford during the 2012 Olympic Games." We are pleased that the Government was persuaded.

The Government is pleased that the Committee has recognised the progress that has been made on enhancements to Thameslink. Although the new Thameslink station is not strictly necessary for the Games, the Government shares the Committee's view that the enhancements will bring significant benefits to those travelling to the Games using rail services, and in particular those interchanging with the Olympic Javelin.

47. Evidence from Transport for London (TfL) was that the Jubilee Line capacity increase would be "45%". Tube Lines - responsible for delivering the increase under the London Underground Public Private Partnership contract - told us this would be "over 40%". We require complete clarity on what additional capacity is planned. TfL and Tube Lines now need to confirm to us the agreed figure for Jubilee Line capacity increases.

48. Tube Lines and London Underground should guarantee that the improved signalling on the Jubilee Line planned for 2010, and on the Northern Line for 2011, will be fully operational in time for the Olympic Games in 2012.

The new signalling system planned for the Jubilee and Northern lines has already been successfully used on metro systems in Vancouver, Kuala Lumpur, Hong Kong and the Docklands Light Railway.

Design of the new Jubilee line system began in mid 2003, installation works have already commenced (with completion due by mid 2007) and this will be followed by comprehensive testing. The system remains on schedule for full completion by the operational date of 31 December 2009. Four new trains have already been added to the Jubilee line fleet taking the total to 63, and these additional trains will enable London Underground (LU) to continue operating a full service while other trains are removed and modified to operate within the new signalling system.

The Committee has asked for clarification on the discrepancy between the capacity increase requirement for the Jubilee line stated by LU and Tube Lines.

The additional 7th carriage was successfully added to all Jubilee line trains in January 2006 and this has already increased capacity on the line by over 16 per cent. The Public Private Partnership (PPP) does not specify an exact capacity increase for the Jubilee line; instead the PPP company will receive bonuses and abatements depending on when they deliver a step-change in the capability of the line. Modelling by Tube Lines shows the proposed line upgrade will result in a capacity increase at peak times of 40 per cent. However if LU decides to introduce more services outside the peak hours then this will result in an increase of 45 per cent. When operational the new signalling system will also allow a 22 per cent reduction in estimated average journey times by the time of the 2012 Games.

The new Northern line signalling system is based on the same technology as that being used on the Jubilee line and will provide an additional 21 per cent capacity and allow a reduction in estimated average journey times by 18 per cent.

The programming of the Jubilee and then the Northern line was partially adopted to enable the Jubilee line system to be installed first on the simpler, shorter line. Lessons learnt in the development and installation of the Jubilee line system can then be applied to the more complex Northern line.

Design of the Northern line signalling system began in early 2004 and preliminary installation activities have already commenced. The system is on schedule to be operational by January 2012 and both Tube Lines and LU are confident that it will be fully operational well in time for the 2012 Games.

49. If the construction of Crossrail proceeds in the run up to the Olympic Games, the Government must ensure that there are no adverse financial and construction implications for the successful completion of planned Olympic transport works.

The Government is working closely with the ODA to ensure that the 2012 Games and Crossrail do not cause complications for each other. A Memorandum of Understanding is currently being developed to determine the interface between the two areas. This, combined with regular bilateral meetings, will allow for the early identification and resolution of any potential conflicts.

The ODA and Crossrail have carried out a detailed analysis and comparison exercise to identify potential areas of conflict. An assessment has been carried out of the relevant locations and the likely impacts and or consequences of works. This is currently under review to enable the extent of the implications to be fully understood. As part of contingency plans the study also considers the variable programming affecting the general development of Crossrail.

50. The Thames Gateway offers an opportunity for the Government to reap a double benefit from the expenditure of taxpayers' money on London's 2012 Olympic Games: once for the Games, and once for the Gateway. The Government should explain how this will be achieved.

The ODPM's Olympic unit is located in the ODPM Thames Gateway Team, and their participation in the evolution of the Olympic transport strategy has helped inform the Olympic programme. Stratford is a major development focus for the Gateway project, and improved transport connections to Stratford and its environs are a key element in the Gateway transport strategy. The Olympic transport programme maps directly onto the Gateway agenda, in particular with its improved capacity at Stratford station, the use of the CTRL Javelin connection, and the conversion of the North London Line to DLR which will deliver 3 further stations to serve the development area of the Lower Lea Valley. These measures will additionally promote new development in the Crossrail corridor and hence add support to the economic case for Crossrail.

51. The key participants in the Olympic and Thames Gateway projects, the 2012 Olympic Games organisers, the Government, and the local authorities, must not let the opportunity slip of ensuring that the significance for both projects of each infrastructure decision in the Olympic Transport Plan is weighed carefully. This offers an opportunity for those responsible for both projects to demonstrate good governance and management. We expect the Government to ensure that the appropriate level of cooperation takes place.

The transport legacy of the Games, for East London and the Gateway is an important component of the overall project legacy. Delivery plans for Games legacies are being drawn together by stakeholder groups comprising the relevant stakeholder bodies.

52. We look to the Government to ensure that transport schemes integral to the Thames Gateway are not diminished in the run up to the 2012 Games, and that the integrity of transport planning for the Games is guarded carefully.

The Olympic Transport programme itself maps directly onto the Gateway agenda. Additional Gateway related projects in the wider area are subject to funding and development strategies which are independent of the Games. These include the DLR extensions to Woolwich Arsenal and between Stratford Regional and International stations as part of a 50% capacity increase of the DLR network, the East London Transit and the Thames Gateway Bridge which is currently at planning inquiry.

53. We are pleased to note that the Government seems to be fully alive to the importance of attracting those with appropriate skills to work on the Olympic project. Not all jobs will be able to be filled by those presently skilled. There will be a training agency within the Olympic Development Authority. This is the right approach. The agency must be set up at the earliest opportunity and must cast its net throughout the UK. We wish to know when it will be operational.

A joint initiative between the Government and the Mayor of London has led to the creation of the London 2012 Employment and Skills Task Force (LEST), which will help provide Londoners with the appropriate skills and support in relation to jobs connected with the London Games. LEST is supported by the London Development Agency (LDA) and the Learning and Skills Council (LSC).

Work is well advanced on a business plan of measures to support both local people, and those drawn from across London, in accessing the direct and indirect employment opportunities which will arise before, during and after the Games. The plan is due to be completed in the summer.

The Task Force's role is to bring the main Olympic partners together to agree how to maximise the employment benefits from the Games for Londoners. The plans for increasing skill levels outside London are being led by DfES and include aiming to ensure that skills provision amongst Olympic contractors is included as part of the procurement process and using the Olympics as a catalyst for existing programmes such as Skills for Life.

54. Addressing London's transport inadequacies should be taken fully into account wherever possible in devising transport solutions for the 2012 Games. The Government and the Mayor of London must demonstrate real leadership by taking a positive view when considering how imaginative planning, or relatively small amounts of additional resources to agreed projects, could provide wider local benefits. This is no time for narrow thinking or 'penny pinching'.

One of the key strengths of London's original Bid was that it was based around transport schemes which were due to take place regardless of the decision on whether to award the Games to London. These existing schemes were designed to improve London's transport infrastructure, particularly in relation to the Thames Gateway. Where necessary the Olympics will add to these to cope with the specific demands of the Games. Wherever possible these additions will leave a positive legacy once the Games are over.

However, as the committee previously noted, this cannot be at the expense of sound financial control over the cost of the Games, and the need to achieve value for money from every pound spent.

55. Many people in east London have no access to Stratford by rail. For people in these areas the sole transport access to jobs in the Olympic Park is currently by bus. When we return to consider the Olympic Transport Plan in future we expect to find that the Lea Bridge station has been reinstated. Meanwhile, Transport for London must review its bus routes from Stratford to ensure that people in all parts of London which are poorly served by rail have access by bus to jobs on the Olympic project.

The Government and Transport for London are in the process of examining options for improving transport links to Stratford for local residents. Although we cannot commit to reopening specific stations at present, we are aware of the importance of ensuring that these links are supported, both to permit access during the Games and also to allow local residents to make the best use of the job opportunities created by the construction of the Olympic park.

The ODA and TfL will be developing plans to ensure that the Olympic workforce (paid staff and volunteers) have access to public transport to ensure that they can reach all competition and non-competition venues. This will be achieved by a number of measures including enhancement of existing London Bus services, creation of new services for specific venues and, if required, extended frequencies and hours of operation.

56. Given the willingness of all parties to the principle of using the rivers where possible for transport construction material, the Government needs to ensure that London's water links are closely examined and used wherever it is sensible to do so.

The Government recognises the importance of London's waterways to preparations for the Olympics and is grateful to the Committee for highlighting this. The Government expects that the ODA will, so far is practical within the constraints imposed by the tidal nature of the waterways, make the fullest possible use of river transport.

57. By laying stress on river and canal transport, and providing proportionately modest extra funding where this is required, the Government will realise benefits to London, the Thames Gateway, and the Olympic project. We invite it to explain how it will rise to this challenge.

The ODA is constantly reviewing the possibilities for using the waterways for transporting construction and waste materials. However the actual percentage of tonnage moved by water, or any other mode, will be determined by a number of factors. These include understanding exactly the amount of waste material to be transported off-site, what materials will be required to be brought in to the Olympic Park for construction, and the sourcing of these materials. These are all subject to ongoing and future site investigation, design, and procurement programmes.

58. Rail must be used for the transport of construction materials for Olympic sites wherever it has the capacity to do so, especially where the alternative is transport by road. Possible constraints on the use of rail mean that it is all the more important that the potential in London offered by river and canal for barge transport of construction materials should be tapped fully. We expect the plans of the interim Olympic Development Authority (ODA) to reflect an imaginative and sensitive approach to the movements of construction material for the Games. The Government and the interim ODA should tell us how this will be achieved.

The ODA recognises the need to minimise, wherever practicable, the number of construction deliveries to the Olympic site by road. The Olympic Park is well served by rail heads which could be utilised to facilitate the delivery of construction materials by rail. The construction of the Olympic Park will require materials that the rail industry is geared up to deliver.

The ODA is working closely with the relevant rail infrastructure providers to ensure that rail will be able to capitalise on the opportunities that Games construction will offer.

However it also continues to work with infrastructure providers of all modes to ensure that a sustainable strategy for the transportation of construction and waste materials is developed alongside ongoing site investigation and design.

59. The Government should have anticipated that public land passed by it to the developers at Stratford might have been required in future for the Olympic Games. While the lands were passed to London and Continental Railways in 1996, London's intention to bid for the Games is also of long standing. If the Government had inserted appropriate reversion clauses into the agreements on this land, then there would have been no question of paying the developers to acquire land formally in public ownership, as has happened in this case. We are very disappointed that the Government has demonstrated so little acumen and foresight.

Unfortunately it was not possible to predict the plans for the 2012 Games in 1996. While, in relation to previous UK Bids, some thought had been given to a potential future London Bid, these plans were not based around the current Stratford site. At the time Manchester was seen as the leading UK contender to host the Games.

60. Similar transactions are likely in future. The design requirements for the Olympics Park will require to cater for unusually large flows of people, while the Stratford City developers' requirements will be focussed upon the needs of the local population and leisure visitors. These requirements are distinct. We are concerned that London & Continental Railways and its partners are in a strong bargaining position vis-à-vis the Olympic Development Authority to extract further compensation for construction tailored to the requirements of the Olympics. We expect the Government and public authorities concerned to take a close interest in all such transactions, and to ensure the proper stewardship of public money.

All the parties involved in the delivery of the Olympic Park are negotiating in good faith to resolve property and development issues. The publication of the new Olympic Park Masterplan in January 2006 marked an important step forward by integrating the designs of the Olympic Park with Stratford City. This was developed with the full cooperation of the Stratford City developers. The Government acknowledges the need to reconcile various objectives within the various projects taking place at Stratford, but does not believe that these objectives are mutually contradictory. The needs of the local population and leisure visitors must be respected if London is to deliver the legacy benefits that were promised to the International Olympic Committee during the bid process.

London and Continental Railways (LCR) is working in the Government interest, and has played a key role in the Olympic bid and in bringing together the Olympic site and facilities. The agreements in place between LCR, Stratford City Developers (SCD) and Government have been established to optimise delivery of Olympic facilities and regeneration of the area. [1]

65. Hosting the Olympic and Paralympic Games in 2012 will leave a lasting legacy in London and elsewhere. We need to ensure that this legacy is a positive one. It was not within our remit to quantify the likely economic affect of London's 2012 Games on the UK as a whole. We support the Games. But we are clear that Olympic transport must not be bought at the expense of important transport projects elsewhere in the country. The Government must ensure that there is no reduction in transport budgets for projects outside the South East and that the benefits of the Games are enjoyed throughout the UK as widely as possible.

London's Olympic bid was based upon making the best use of the existing transport network, and the improvements which were planned regardless of the decision to award the Games to London. Specific Games transport schemes will be funded from the Public Sector Funding Package agreed between Government and the Mayor of London, drawn from London Council Tax, the London Development Agency and National Lottery contributions. As a result there should be no impact upon transport schemes elsewhere in the UK.

64. Meanwhile, we have identified above a range of specific and frequently highly complex problems which will require to be addressed by those responsible for Olympic transport infrastructure and services in order to ensure a successful Games. When we return to this subject we expect to find that these are being tackled successfully.

66. The Games offer an unparalleled opportunity to make public transport more accessible both in London and elsewhere for the longer term. This opportunity must not be missed. The Olympic authorities, and especially the Government, must also look beyond the Games to the legacy needs of London's transport. The specific focus on Olympic delivery must be properly coordinated with the development of other transport projects needed in the Thames Gateway area.

67. Travelling into London must become a pleasant experience if the Olympics are to succeed. This will be an uphill task. We look forward to following up this inquiry in the period to the opening of the XXX Olympiad in London in 2012.

The Government welcomes the scrutiny that the Committee has brought to preparations for the 2012 Olympic and Paralympic Games. There are many complex issues, as the committee has recognised, that will need to be addressed to make the Games a success. We have put in place the necessary mechanisms to ensure that all of these issues can be addressed in time for the Games.

The Government will work with the ODA, LOCOG and other relevant bodies to ensure that all of the opportunities presented by the Games are fully realised. We are committed to ensuring that Olympic projects are integrated with the broader development of London. Ultimately our challenge is to ensure that the 2012 Olympic and Paralympic Games leave a long-lasting legacy for the capital and for the whole of the United Kingdom.

1   The SCD consortium is in contract to LCR to undertake the property development work. LCR is going through a process to terminate their contract with SCD on the grounds of under-performance, and to replace the SCD consortium with alternative partners who are able to meet the ambitious development timetable and are aligned with LCR objectives. Back

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