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2012 Olympics (Transport Network)

Volume 527: debated on Thursday 5 May 2011

12. What discussions he has had with the Mayor of London on the operation of the transport network in London during the London 2012 Olympics. (54171)

I have lead accountability within Government for transport preparations for the London 2012 Olympics. I am a member of the Cabinet sub-committee on the Olympics, which meets regularly and is also attended by the Mayor of London and representatives of the London Organising Committee of the Olympic Games and Paralympic Games and the Olympic Delivery Authority.

My officials and I have regular discussions with the Mayor and his officials in the Greater London authority and Transport for London on transport during the Olympics. Transport for London works closely with the ODA, which has statutory responsibility for transport planning for the games.

As the Secretary of State mentioned, a number of organisations are involved in the planning and delivery of a successful transport network for the games—LOCOG, the ODA, the Mayor of London and Transport for London. Can my right hon. Friend tell me what efforts have been made to co-ordinate planning across those groups to ensure that we can manage the huge numbers of athletes and spectators? Does he feel that appropriate measures have been put in place to keep London moving during that critical time?

As I have already described, there is a mechanism for bringing all those groups together through the Cabinet Olympic sub-committee, which is very effective. During the games, the Transport for London control room in central London will be the main control room for managing the transport networks.

The required measures are being put in place, but my hon. Friend is right to say that it will be challenging to manage down background demand for travel in London to allow sufficient capacity for the games family—the athletes, spectators and sponsors—to travel around. That is a big challenge, which we will face in the next 12 months—I am under no illusions about the size of it.