Living in an Olympic City – part 2 – Transport Challenges

A lot has been made here about how much more troublesome it will be to travel around London (and other areas) during the Olympics period.

Some of the following are worth noting if you are in London, for the games or other reason, and are likely to need to travel.

Heathrow Airport

Heathrow have issued the following warning in terms of travel disruption or challenges they may face in terms of delays:

  • 16 July: Peak day for arrival of Olympic athletes
  • 26 July: Peak day for arrival of sponsors/media (the day before the Olympic Opening Ceremony)
  • 13 August: Peak day for Olympic departures (the day after the Olympic Closing Ceremony)
  • 22 August: Peak day for arrival of Paralympic athletes
  • 28 August: Peak day for arrival of sponsors/media (the day before the Paralympic Opening Ceremony)
  • 10 September: Peak day for Paralympic departures (the day after the Paralympic Closing Ceremony

Personally the only day I am travelling will be the 28th August when I will be coming back to T5 from Copenhagen.

Transport for London

TfL has published a special web site which gives lots of information about which lines and stations are likely to be busier than normal, when this will happen and alternatives. There are day-by-day maps highlighting particular challenges. My personal view is that there is a lot of information but not a lot of detail! An example, for the 3rd August is shown below:

a map of a subway system with London Underground in the backgroundIt seems that a lot of stations will be busier than normal, but I suspect no one has any clue about what that means.

SouthEastern High Speed Trains to Stratford

It is likely that one of the most popular ways of getting to Stratford from Central London will be high speed trains from St. Pancras station. These trains will be running 24 hours per day for the period of the games, as frequently as every 7 minutes. The train is not available as part of the daily TfL travelcard system and Oyster cannot be used. The single fare is just over £5 with a day return about £7. Olympic timetables are here