Get Ahead Of The Games leaves Greenwich travellers behind


So lots of publicity for the Get Ahead Of The Games website launched on Monday detailing exactly where in London the transport network will be a little bit sticky during the Olympics. Apparently we’re now due “a multi-media advertising campaign [to] communicate directly with the travelling public, offering tips, travel information and advice on how to reduce, reroute, retime or remode their journeys”. Nice.

But something’s missing. Sure, Boris has managed to get his cable car on the map above… but why does this campaign only use the Tube map, and not the full rail and Tube map? Where’s the information about Southeastern’s service cuts and how to get around those? It’s as if this campaign has been drawn up by the Evening Standard or Time Out, not authorities that are supposed to be responsible for all of London.

Let’s be frank here, for all this blog’s general excitement about the Olympics, the Greenwich area is going to take a big hit in terms of transport disruption – probably the biggest outside the Olympic Park. It’s not going to be the end of the world, but it will be a bit of a pain in the bum. Yet somehow, between TfL, the mayor’s office, LOCOG, the government and the Olympic Delivery Authority, there’s very little interest in communicating the disruption that faces us during the summer.

It’s all very well warning that Covent Garden will be busy because people will want to go to the theatre (hold the front page!) but what about someone wanting to take a train from a half-closed Maze Hill, or a disrupted Deptford? There’s nothing here for them. Why are they less important than those who use Fulham Broadway? (“Exceptionally busy on 28 and 29 July,” apparently.)

Over recent months, it seems that the mainline network in London is the forgotten part of the Olympics transport jigsaw – those I’ve spoken to at LOCOG haven’t really seemed alert to Southeastern’s cuts through Greenwich, and the lack of information for mainline travellers just seem to compound the impression that nobody’s taking an overall view of the situation. Poor show.

15 comments

  1. Lucy N

    Plans seems just like the tv series 2012 to me.

    Getting to work or working-hours don’t seem to have been considered as much of a problem in Boris-land: we don’t all want to take our precious annual leave to coincide with the giant corporate-schmooze that the Olympics have become.

    Sorry, to sound so negative. But travel across London can be pretty taxing at the best of times.

  2. Bernard, Island Gardens

    I notice that the site is advising passengers to use Deptford national rail station as an alternative to Greenwich, seems the right hand doesn’t know what the left hand is doing.

  3. Chris

    This is no surprise when it comes to the railways.

    The north London domninated media and politicians (or Boris-land if you like) lose the plot when it comes to south London. Some of them need a map to get to the glass bollock after they cross Tower Bridge (assuming they’re not being chauffeured).

    The fact that Southeastern are bunch of useless, thieving Jodrell Bankers is merely the icing on the cake.

  4. Nicola T

    Dreading this, we have baby twins & regularly go to Greenwich or Blackheath from home in Shooters Hill. This won’t be possible, getting home via public transport from Woolwich will be a nightmare so we will be stuck at home or thinking about going away!

  5. Darryl

    The numbers at Woolwich Barracks will be relatively small – only 3,000/day. But that’s still enough for the odd hold-up…

  6. Steve

    Perhaps I’m being a tad naive here but isnt this map (really) for peps going to the stadium and others in the way? Londoners appear to be being told to “change your route*/timing*/routine*/life*” (delete as appropriate) to ensure theres no embarrassment with transport problems.

    This is a typical government approach- we could have been asked our views, got involved… But this takes more time and energy than saying “just do this”.

    Ultimately, either this will all work out fine (minus inevitable blip) – and the games transport plan will be hailed as a success OR this won’t work at all well and the games transport plan will be hailed as a success.

    It’s just how things work.

  7. Jessica Brown

    Calm down people. It’s still 6 months away. This is just a starter for ten. You complain you get no info, then when you do, it’s not enough or not the right sort. They are well-aware of the problems with southeastern and in-depth discussions are ongoing. The website will be updated with rail info and more hotspots stations across the capital – including rail and DLR – as soon as the data has been shared by those who have it, probably in a few months. At least they are trying to help!

  8. Steve

    Hit the nail on the Jessica Brown head there Darryl.

    “Starter for ten” (official speak/I watch university challenge a lot/I’ve got a degree in … You know) = “oh we hadn’t thought about that”.

    It doesn’t figure to give peps a “starter for ten” when forward planning. Either you give all info upfront for an informed decision, or peps might as well wait til it is – otherwise the early choices might be cancelled by later additions.

    The reason why peps in the SE sometimes appear negative abt things is probably because we get left out.

    Now, if the powers that be had created a map focussed around the East, and South East of London (where the games are actually being held) and not the West End, I wonder if the Westenders would feel aggrieved?

  9. Darryl

    I should point out that after the contribution from “Jessica Brown” came another from the same IP address, under the name “Interested SE resident” which read: “I think the website is quite useful and I live in this area. However, I work in central London and move around there quite a lot during the day. Do all you people live and work in the SE London bubble then? I’m confident that we will not get left out and we will get all the info we need. I’m guessing they just don’t know what it is yet. I’d rather have a bit of info in plenty of advance than nothing until it’s too late to do anything about it. Isn’t this about thinking about what is going to happen and planning to avoid it?”

    Someone’s doing a very lame attempt at sockpuppeting. And they’re being watched.

  10. Chris

    Nice one Darryl!

    And Jessica, Southeastern are a total bunch of tossers. If there is way to screw it up, they will find it.

    The tap in/tap out fiasco at Blackheath station for the Heath fireworks — something they knew about months in advance — is just one example.

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