Tube 'cannot cope with 1m Olympic fans'

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ChristopherJ

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Front page of today's Metro.

http://www.metro.co.uk/olympics/901...dds-to-tube-fears-during-london-2012-olympics

John Higginson in The Metro said:
Tube ‘cannot cope with 1m London 2012 Olympic fans’
The Tube will fail to cope when millions of extra passengers descend on London for the Olympics in seven weeks, insiders have told Metro.

The creaking 150-year-old network will buckle under the extra workload and turn the capital into a ‘laughing stock’.

One senior LU employee said: ‘It is simply not going to be ready and there is nothing we can do about it. It will not be able to cope with the extra numbers.

‘Trains will break down and lines will shut. The attitude at LU seems to be: “Let’s just wait to see what happens – there’s little more we can do now’’.’

Up to a million extra people are expected to cram on to the Tube every day during the Games in July and August.

London has spent £9.3billion preparing for the event but the Tube and rail network was found wanting during this weekend’s diamond jubilee celebrations. Commuters returning to work yesterday were also hit by severe delays on the Bakerloo and Jubilee lines, while a water leak near the Olympic park at Stratford closed the Central line.

Cuts to the number of safety inspections on tracks, trains and escalators ahead of the Games is already taking its toll, unions say.

There are not enough staff to cope with emergency drills, they claim. RMT leader Bob Crow said the Tube would make London a ‘laughing stock’ while the eyes of the world were on it. ‘Just weeks away from the Olympics the Tube cannot cope now let alone when it has to transport millions more passengers,’ he added.

Labour has called on mayor Boris Johnson to meet rail company bosses to make sure the transport network is ready.

Transport for London is urging commuters to leave work later or find other ways of getting to work to ease the pressure.

A spokesman said: ‘We’re confident but not complacent.’

By John Higginson - 7th June, 2012
 
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NY Yankee

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I will be so happy when the Tube proves the skeptics wrong. They act like the Olympics is the first event in which a lot of people will use the Tube. I'm sure that in the 150 year history of the Tube there were parades, football matches, New Year's celebrations, and other events in which a large amount of people used the Underground.
 

ert47

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NY Yankee:1110065 said:
I will be so happy when the Tube proves the skeptics wrong. They act like the Olympics is the first event in which a lot of people will use the Tube. I'm sure that in the 150 year history of the Tube there were parades, football matches, New Year's celebrations, and other events in which a large amount of people used the Underground.
The only difference between the events you mentioned and the Olympics is that it will be sustained heavy usage over a few weeks, any failures or any engineering faults that happen will screw everything up.

I havent seen the article yet, but I work on the Strand right across the road from Charing Cross station and was there Saturday, Sunday and Monday and it was pretty jam packed - especially on the Sunday! There was a huge diversion to get pedestrians into the National Rail station and no one knew whether the Underground station was open or closed and/or how to get to Embankment since the road there was fenced off.

Had to direct several people to Leicester Square, but a good few people decided the best course of action was to walk to Holborn just to be able to get somewhere!

Don't even ask about how "easy" it was to get across the river :/
 

infobleep

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Apparently the services are more heavily used by commuters which is why they, that is the train companies, did not need to provide so many services last weekend. I am paraphrasing a quote I read in a newspaper from one railway company so it may have been taken out of context.

If they really do say that is the case and it isn't the case then are they lying?

Of course the Metro are only making it front page news today because it's easy news to report and write. They could have reported it on the front yesterday if it were not for the fact they wanted the queen on the front cover. I dom't blame them for putting the Queen on the front. I read about the chaos in another paper on Monday or Tuesday and it's now Thursday.

I know the metro is free and I do flick through it. However I do think it's rubbish unlike the evening standard in my opinion which is also free.
 

Tiny Tim

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The Metro article doesn't seem to have much substance to it; Getting quotes from disenchanted but anonymous LU staff isn't exactly cutting edge journalism, and Bob Crowe can always be relied on for 'Vox Plop'. (Not a typo). John Higginson referring to the Underground as being '150 years old' is a facile over-simplifcation. Only parts of the Metropolitan were built that long ago, and the whole system has been periodically upgraded. I'm not saying that LU doesn't have problems, but Higginson is merely speculating, nobody can predict the exact demands that the Olympics will put on London's transport system.

I know that LU work very hard to keep the trains running, I hope that the Olympics are their finest hour. Sadly, I'm not prepared to bet on it.
 

Wolfie

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The Metro article doesn't seem to have much substance to it; Getting quotes from disenchanted but anonymous LU staff isn't exactly cutting edge journalism, and Bob Crowe can always be relied on for 'Vox Plop'. (Not a typo). John Higginson referring to the Underground as being '150 years old' is a facile over-simplifcation. Only parts of the Metropolitan were built that long ago, and the whole system has been periodically upgraded. I'm not saying that LU doesn't have problems, but Higginson is merely speculating, nobody can predict the exact demands that the Olympics will put on London's transport system.

I know that LU work very hard to keep the trains running, I hope that the Olympics are their finest hour. Sadly, I'm not prepared to bet on it.
My italics

As a regular daily user I would say not enough, and neither in a timely nor cost-effective manner. Users pay through the nose to upgrade an inadequate service.

My bold

Londoners are paying through the nose in additional Council Tax for the Olympics. They have also been asked by TfL not to use transport services they have already paid for (take a look at the proprtion who use season tickets) during the Olympics in order to allow visitors to have access. Rearrange into a well-known phrase "laugh a having they are"... Will the tube cope - given that it fails regularly on ordinary working days I very seriously doubt it!
 

VTPreston_Tez

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Just wondering - would extra buses be called down from other parts of the UK to provide relief if the government think that there won't be enough capacity on LU, National Rail, and the buses to get everybody around?
 

tbtc

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I'd have thought that the Olympics wouldn't be as big a drain as one big single event (like a football match) because you're not going to have everyone entering a stadium at the same time and everyone leaving at the same time.

There will be hundreds of thousands of people, sure, but spread over longer periods of time (rather than the mad dash after final whistle to get home after a football game) and spread over a bigger area (like the marathon course, or lots of small venues for specialist sports).
 

Mutant Lemming

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Apparently the services are more heavily used by commuters .
..commuters who know where they are going (most of the time), understand the system and layout of the trains and stations. Anyone who works trains on commuter lines knows the difference between weekday and weekend passengers and that 'leisure' travellers are slower to board and generally take more time.


...incidentally staff and travel 'ambassadors' are being advised that when passengers ask how to get to places to respond to them as if the Jubilee and Central lines don't exist to alleviate the inevitable crowding problems.
 

Simon11

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There seems to be quite a few people here who think the tube will fail during the olympics.

I personally think the tube will cope well considering the numbers.

Think back to the bejing olympics, how did they cope with their transport issues and how many trains per hour did they have from the olympic site to the centre of the city? I would bet it would be tiny in comparison to the tube, railway and overground from stratford. Think about the major issues they had with the smog...

As for things going wrong, they are always going to happen and I believe lu copes with the situations best as it can. Can anyone here make any suggestions to improve the performance?

Finally all the tocs and organisations have been preparing for the olympics for a very long time. From experience I have seen the data they have produced to estimate where the olympic demand will come from and which services will be heavily overcrowded. They then look at options to make it more managable like suggesting alternative routes to customers, services strengthing, queue management etc
 

HSTEd

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The chinese coped by closing down half the city for the duration, same way they dealt with the air quality issues they have.
 
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What you're all missing is the issue that always sorts out any organization carrying out any operation.
It's note how you cope during the operations - it's how you cope and what is done when it all goes wrong. That's how an organization is judged. Imagine it's chucking out time at the cessation of a day's games and the Central line packs in as it did two days ago. Or the Jubilee line falls over again because of signal failures.
 

Mutant Lemming

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What you're all missing is the issue that always sorts out any organization carrying out any operation.
It's note how you cope during the operations - it's how you cope and what is done when it all goes wrong. That's how an organization is judged. Imagine it's chucking out time at the cessation of a day's games and the Central line packs in as it did two days ago. Or the Jubilee line falls over again because of signal failures.
Apparently there are maps being printed which don't have the Central and Jubilee line on them as an aid to instructing passengers how to get around without using those lines.
 

Tiny Tim

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Just wondering - would extra buses be called down from other parts of the UK to provide relief if the government think that there won't be enough capacity on LU, National Rail, and the buses to get everybody around?
Interesting. Have TfL laid on extra buses? If so it might well benefit regular commuters. For visitors buses are a bit complicated. I have to drive through London regularly, I'm not looking forward to the extra traffic even if it is buses.
 

jopsuk

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There's a huge stock of brand new extra "Games" buses parked in East London somewhere- which will be going to various operators post Games
 

burneside

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Londoners are paying through the nose in additional Council Tax for the Olympics. They have also been asked by TfL not to use transport services they have already paid for (take a look at the proprtion who use season tickets) during the Olympics in order to allow visitors to have access. Rearrange into a well-known phrase "laugh a having they are"... Will the tube cope - given that it fails regularly on ordinary working days I very seriously doubt it!
I totally agree. London's transport system can barely cope with its present usage and failures occur on virtually a daily basis, though some are more spectacular than others, such as the tube flooding earlier this week. I think transport chiefs and LOCOG will be saying their prayers and crossing their fingers during the Olympics.
 

SS4

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Apparently there are maps being printed which don't have the Central and Jubilee line on them as an aid to instructing passengers how to get around without using those lines.
That'd be quite an interesting map to get my hands on if it exists. Surely it'll cause confusion when on the platform it says the next service is the Jubilee line to Stanmore.

I wonder what all the customers heading to Euston/Kings Cross are meant to do (changing at Mile End to the H&C is far easier than changing at Bank even if one has to walk from Euston Square on the former). Probably going to be Overground and Victoria Line or fast train to St Pancras and walk.
Yet at least those two termini are close, what about Marylebone and Paddington where the central line to Lancaster Gate would be easier
 

Mojo

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I wonder what all the customers heading to Euston/Kings Cross are meant to do (changing at Mile End to the H&C is far easier than changing at Bank even if one has to walk from Euston Square on the former). Probably going to be Overground and Victoria Line or fast train to St Pancras and walk.
Yet at least those two termini are close, what about Marylebone and Paddington where the central line to Lancaster Gate would be easier
Catch the Javelin service direct to St Pancakes ;)
 

PaxVobiscum

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I am very glad that I will be hundreds of miles away from all this and will be able to watch it all on TV.

However, the Commonwealth Games will be right on my doorstep in 2014 so I have an interest in seeing how well things pan out in London this summer. Maybe I should plan to be elsewhere in July and early August 2014.
 

tunster

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Jesus Christ. This is not the disaster of the century and nor will it be one. The key organisation will be down to LOGOC ensuring that events don't all finish at the same time at the Olympic park.

Of course they'll be stress points during the evening at key stations (around 6pm when the evening sessions start); but people will be travelling before this time, so rush hours in the morning/evening will probably be normal for most of the days on most routes.

Disruptions on lines will be the key to the success or failure of the Olympics and also how they're dealt with. One example might be if the Central Line was to be disrupted around Stratford, they'd redirect people onto the main/metro national rail lines back to Liverpool St and so forth.

Let's not be so bloody pessimistic and get behind the organisers of the Olympic games (and the actual games itself!).
 

mbonwick

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One way or another I'm sure we all are, but is it coming out of the ODA budget, a contingency fund given to TfL or is it coming out of the day to day running costs of TfL ?
You pay for it every time you use a First bus.

Over 1,500 extra buses are expected to be drafted down to London for the games. As a rule of thumb, Stagecoach will be moving the athletes, staff and "Olympic Family", while First have the spectator contracts (though they are subcontracting to Stagecoach and Arriva).

I'm assuming the new vehicles referred to are the 200 First have bought, and which will be redistributed throughout their empire post-Olympics. The Stagecoach policy has been more to retain older vehicles in the provinces which will be put back into service to cascade newer vehicles to London.

I believe a figure of 4,000 extra parking spaces for buses/coaches has been bandied around - anyone know if this is accurate?
 
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