London 2012 Olympics: Your guide to avoiding the travel hotspots during the Games

London 2012 Olympics:

Your guide to avoiding the travel hotspots during the Games

TFL say biggest transport challenge will be to try to manage heavy demand at specific locations at certain times of day

Busy: National Rail said there will be 34 hotspot stations to try to avoid during the Paralympics
Busy: National Rail said there will be 34 hotspot stations to try to avoid during the Paralympics

An extra million trips are set to be made on the busiest days of the 2012 Paralympic Games, Transport for London (TfL) said today.

This is on top of the usual 12 million trips made on London’s public transport, TfL said as it published information on its 49 busy hotspot stations set to be hit by increased demand during the Paralympics.

National Rail said there will also be 34 hotspot stations to try to avoid during the Paralympics.

The new information regarding travel during the Paralympic Games and trying to use National Rail during both the Olympics and Paralympics is available online at

East London, particularly around the Olympic Park in Stratford, the ExCeL centre and Greenwich Park, will be hit with the greatest demand as this is where many of the competitions will be staged.

Travellers were also warned that the transport network is set to be busier in the second week of the Paralympics as this will when schools start to reopen after the summer holidays.

The Olympics run from the opening ceremony on July 27 through to the closing ceremony on August 12 while the Paralympics are held from the August 29 opening ceremony through to the closing event on September 9.

The transport information covers the competition days between these dates. The transport measures being used to cope with demand on the days of the ceremonies will be released at a later date.

An extra three million trips will be made on the busiest days of the Olympics where there will be 88 TfL and 59 National Rail hotspot stations.

London’s transport commissioner Peter Hendy said: “London is going to operate very differently this summer, with the capital transforming into a giant Games-time cultural and sporting venue.

“As the competition and events programme moves around we need to manage demand on the transport network, which will be very busy and at certain times and certain places will be much busier than usual.”

Both the Tube and train stations at London Bridge and Waterloo will be “exceptionally busy” during the Games.

They are key interchange stations and are set to be used by people travelling towards venues, events and the big screens to watch the action.

During the Paralympics, London Bridge Tube station will be particularly busy during the morning peak between 7.30-10am and the evening peak between 5.30-9pm on August 31 and September 7.

Travellers will find that a one-way system will be in place at the London Bridge National Rail station and that entrances and exits will be controlled during the busiest times.

Water sports fans who travel to see the sailing competitions at Weymouth were warned that the railway station there will be particularly busy for two to three hours before the events begin, one to two hours after events finish and when the last trains leave at the end of the day.

The Olympic sailing events run from July 29 to August 11.

London Waterloo National Rail station will be very busy between 7.30-10am on weekday mornings throughout the Olympics and Paralympic Games, spectators were warned.

It will be a key interchange station for people travelling to Eton Dorney for rowing, the cycling time trial race at Hampton Court, the sailing at Weymouth, the tennis at Wimbledon or those arriving for events in central London – including beach volleyball, the triathlon and the cycle road races.

Bank Tube and DLR station plus Mile End Tube station are other pinch points.

People are being urged to plan, stagger and try to be flexible during London 2012.

The big transport challenge will be to try to manage heavy demand at specific locations at certain times of day.

Mr Hendy said: “All of us who live, work or travel in London need to check to see if the Tube, train or DLR stations we regularly use will be affected by the impact of the Games, and start making plans to avoid ‘hotspot’ stations at the times they are expected to be in high demand.”

Commuters, residents and tourists will see a “sea of magenta” on the ground as 3,000-5,000 TfL travel ambassadors will be deployed to help direct people to the Games.

They will be wearing magenta tabards and will be working in addition to the operational staff who will not be allowed to take holiday leave during the Games.

This is in addition to the 8,000 volunteer London Ambassadors, recruited through the mayor’s office.

They are set to work across 35 locations across the capital – including airports, station concourses, tourist attractions and near Games venues – to help welcome and direct visitors.

Rail Maritime and Transport union general secretary Bob Crow said: “RMT fully supports a successful Olympics and that is one of the reasons that we are deeply concerned at the ad hoc staffing arrangements that have been put in place.

“With a million extra journeys a day relying on volunteers rather than skilled and experienced staff with a full understanding of evacuation and crowd control is a deeply flawed and high risk strategy.”

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