The Olympic Delivery Authority’s (ODA) new Walking and Cycling plans published today give details on how £11.5m of investment will enable 385,000 spectators to “ride or stride” to the Games in 2012.
The plans will also leave behind a legacy of permanent improvements to key routes between sporting hubs, thereby encouraging more people to walk and cycle to events in the future.
The ODA’s investment will see two new walking and cycling paths created and six more significantly improved. The new cycling paths will stretch from Finsbury Park to Victoria Park, where 5,000 new bike spaces will be provided for Games-time use, and from Epping Forest and the Wanstead Flats to Stratford.
ODA Chairman John Armitt said: ‘London 2012’s aim is for 100% of spectators to get to the Games using public transport, walking or cycling. The ODA is investing more than £11.5m to make walking and cycling more attractive options for spectators, as well as leaving behind a positive legacy of eight new or improved off road walking and cycling routes.
‘Creating a good walking and cycling experience for people during the Games could see more people choosing this travel option afterwards.’
Mayor of London, Boris Johnson, said: ‘The reinvigoration and extension of these walking and cycling routes will hugely increase the attractiveness of travelling to the Games venues in the most healthy and environment-friendly way possible.
‘This infrastructure will leave Londoners with the legacy of some fantastic new green ways of getting about the city, to be used and enjoyed by walkers and cyclists for decades to come. The project also chimes with my Mayoral priority of stimulating a cycling revolution in the capital, which by 2012 will be well and truly underway with thousands of hire bikes and new cycle super-highways complementing these routes.’
Transport Minister Paul Clark said: ‘I want to see more and more major events take the lead in sustainable transport. This important investment by London 2012 will not only benefit those visiting the Games, but also the huge number of cyclists in London.
‘Encouraging spectators and Olympic Park workforce to use sustainable and active transport options to get to sporting and cultural events will help achieve the goal of making London 2012 the first sustainable Games and help inspire the rest of the country to try leaving the car behind.’
Jim Walker, Chair of London 2012 Active Travel Advisory Group said: ‘Walking and Cycling groups are working together through the London 2012 Active Travel Advisory Group to make sure that all Walking and Cycling projects are integrated into the delivery of the Games.
‘Our success will be measured not just by who is active during the Games, but by how many more Londoners choose to “stride or ride” in the future.’
However, athletes and officials at the London Olympics will likely not use the new cyclepaths: there are plans to create Olympics-only super highways for use of cars and mini-buses of Olympians and officials only.