Wednesday, July 06, 2005

Anywhere but London

In the very unlikely event that any IOC members are reading this - please don't vote for London hosting the Olympics.

London's infrastructure barely copes with the people that have to live and work there - adding the Olympics is just going to lead to chaos. The tube isn't going to get rebuilt by 2012 - the only way to rebuild it properly is to do what the French have done in Paris and build alternative high speed lines. It recently took longer to replace an escalator than it took to construct the entire Central line with picks and shovels.

My other objection is that the Olympics will drive Britain even further along the path to a police state. The need to avoid a terrorist attack on the Olympics will give the government every excuse to add even more repressive measures (they already have detention without trial and want to bring in ID cards).

At least New Zealand is too small to credibly bid for the Olympics.


Joe Hendren said...

Isn't that what Crossrail is - alternative high speed lines?

AFAIK crossrail is the only 'rebuilding' of the tube planned, but despite knowing crossrail will not be finished in time, no doubt they included the proposal in their bid.

Rich said...

Yes, I think that's what Crossrail is - since I left the UK I haven't really kept track on whether it's going ahead - but as you point out, it won't be ready by 2012 if they start digging today. Also, it won't make any difference at all for north-south journeys, etc.

I just noticed that London has "won".

Jordan said...

London estimates that having the Olympics going on will add 4% to public transport use during the event. That's less than the tourist flow peak anyway. The system is not at grid lock; I always found it highly effective and efficient as a way to get around.

Rich said...

It's not so much the capacity as the unreliability. Notwithstanding recent events, it doesn't take much to break a line.

I lived in London for ten years, and while as Jordan says the tube gets you around, I wouldn't call it efficient. A lot depends on how far you want to go and at what time.

As I understand it, the tube is mostly twin track with very few passing loops - so a fault in a train or a track system stops everything behind it. (The New York subway is mainly 4 track and as well as running expresses can cope with a failed train, as well as being maintainable in service, allowing 24hr operation).

Also, if anything breaks, or under unusual load (like christmas shopping), the system *does* become overloaded and stations have to close to maintain safe passenger numbers underground - this happens often.

And the suburban overground lines - which will be the only means of transport to a lot of the proposed venues - are even worse. (being operated by companies like Connex & Stagecoach doesn't help).