Olympic Advice For Spectators

20 June 2012, 09:21 | Updated: 22 June 2012, 10:32

You may be better off staying at home and watching some of the Olympic events on TV says Transport for London, as it plans to manage the number of people in central London during the Games.

It's set out its travel advice for 2012 road events including cycling, marathon running and walking, which take place every weekend during the Games, and includes "it may be better to view events" like Mark Cavendish in the cycling road race or Paula Radcliffe in the women's marathon "on TV at home, with friends, at a pub or local community centre".    

It admits the road race event courses mean viewing capacity in central London will be "limited" and are urging motorists to steer clear of town on those days altogether.

Last week, we were told by Hugh Robertson, the Olympics Minister, that "absolutely nobody knows how many people are going to turn up" as 19 million pounds extra was being spent on stewarding and crowd control in London following the Jubilee.

TfL's Managing Director of Surface Transport, Leon Daniels said: "As the Olympic Torch Relay and Queen's Diamond Jubilee have shown, very large crowds will want to see the road events.  Given the nature of the road event courses, viewing capacity in central London will be limited.  We strongly advise people to plan their day and travel in advance to enjoy the best possible Games experience."

"Those intending to line the routes and cheer the athletes on should plan ahead and arrive early. If you live locally to the course enjoy the event in your local community if you can.  It may also be that your local pub or community centre, watching at home with family or friends or at one of the Live Sites across the UK, offers a better opportunity to catch all the action as it happens."

The majority of road events start and finish in central London, but some, including the Cycle Road Races and Cycling Time Trials, pass through south west London and Surrey.  The Cycling Road Races on Saturday 28 and Sunday 29 July will take place on routes passing through Westminster, Kensington & Chelsea, Hammersmith & Fulham, The Royal Borough of Kingston upon Thames, Wandsworth and The Royal Borough of Richmond upon Thames, as well as Surrey.
The men's and women's Road Cycling Time Trials will take place on Wednesday 1 August and start and finish at Hampton Court Palace, passing through East Molesey, West Molesey, Thames Ditton, Esher, Whiteley Village, Hinchley Wood, Surbiton, Kingston, Hampton Wick and Teddington.

TFL say to ensure safety of athletes and spectators, road races need to take place on secure roads so closures and parking restrictions will need to be put in place on the days of the competitions.  

Its also been confirmed that some roads will also be affected by testing of road event routes. Where possible, these will take place within road closures for other events, but it will be necessary to close some roads. In south west London and north Surrey on Tuesday 31 July, roads will be closed on a rolling basis for technical officials to test the Cycling Time Trial route. Although there will be some disruption, this will only affect areas very close to the race route and only for a short period of time (less than 30 minutes).

As part of the preparation for the Triathlons, a technical rehearsal will take place early on Thursday 2 August. Hyde Park Corner will close from 3.30am and reopen at 8.45am.

Mayor of London, Boris Johnson said: "London is gearing up to become a huge and wonderful sporting and cultural venue as we welcome the world for the Games.  The road events offer a great opportunity to see some of the world's top athletes in competition and to experience the numerous other attractions London has to offer. Given the huge numbers of people who will be in London for the Games, it is really important that people follow our travel advice and plan ahead at www.getaheadofthegames.com.