The roads that will form the Olympic Route Network (ORN) have been designated by the Department for Transport today following a 14 week public consultation.
The ORN is a series of existing roads on which a range of traffic management measures will be applied where needed to ensure over 70,000 athletes, officials, media and sponsors can move safely, quickly and reliably between the competition venues, their accommodation and other key locations during the 2012 Games.
Temporary dedicated Olympic Lanes, which are expected to affect 0.5% of London’s roads, will be used on the busiest sections of the ORN within London. Lanes will only operate where and when there is a clear need for them, and only if there is sufficient road space to accommodate them.
The Olympic Delivery Authority (ODA) will now engage and consult with businesses, residents and others in order to determine specifically how those roads will be affected by those measures.
The ORN measures will include permanent improvements that will help reduce congestion such as upgraded traffic signals, the creation of a new Traffic Control Centre for London, and new CCTV and junction upgrades. A range of temporary measures to be applied during the Games are also included.
Similar arrangements were put in place at the Sydney, Athens and Beijing Games and it is now considered best practice to have an ORN during the Games.
The Department for Transport consulted on the proposed ORN between December 2008 and March 2009 resulting in the removal of 17 roads and the addition of 15.
Transport Minister Sadiq Khan said: “The Olympic Route Network is something that every Host City needs to ensure that athletes get from A to B as safely and efficiently as possible. It’s a huge challenge and will be critical to the overall success of the Games.
“This temporary solution will be implemented in a way designed to keep London and other competition areas moving, as well as leaving a positive legacy for the city in terms of improved traffic management infrastructure.
“Having learnt some important lessons from previous Games and listened to constructive feedback, we are confident these plans will help to ensure transport runs smoothly in 2012 for athletes, those working at the Games and those working and living in London and other competition areas.”
Kulveer Ranger, the Mayor of London’s Director of Transport Policy, said: “To ensure a fantastic 2012 Games it is essential that everyone can get to the venues easily - organisers, athletes and spectators. At the same time the transport measures put in place must ensure that London keeps moving.
“The ODA is now starting the work of ensuring that this temporary network, as limited as is practicable, delivers the best results for everyone. Alongside it will sit the hugely improved public transport network, which we are well on-track to completing.”
Hugh Sumner, ODA Director of Transport said: “We have had some constructive responses back from the public and from local authorities leading up to and throughout the consultation process, and we’re looking forward to working more closely with those groups.”
The formal designation of the ORN, which come into force on 22 July, gives the ODA the legal authority to approve planned works on the ORN and to implement traffic regulation orders to manage traffic on the ORN during the Games.
The ODA’s development of the ORN measures forms part of its broader Olympic Transport Plan, the second edition of which will be consulted on later this year. Planned measures to reduce the level of ‘normal’ traffic during the Games by around 20%, as has been achieved at previous Games, through working with employers and schools, will be important in minimising the impact of the ORN measures on residents and businesses. The ODA will also be developing a compliance strategy for the ORN aimed at promoting a high level of compliance with the measures, through information and communications, rather than penalising people through penalty charge notices.
Details of the ORN, together with reports on the consultation responses and the Government’s response (which also outlines ODA’s future engagement strategy) have been published on the DfT website at: http://www.dft.gov.uk/pgr/regional/orndesignation