Could the London2012 Olympics be the new Y2K? I suspect not. Y2K came and went and we all looked back and wondered what all the fuss was about.
I have just had an email from Transport for London telling me that for large chunks of the day I can expect to have to wait longer than 30 minutes to board some tube trains. I regularly come in to Kings Cross in the morning and the underground is sometimes so busy on a normal commuting day that they shut off access to the platforms because there are already too many people down there.
If TfL is talking over 30 minutes wait the queues just to get through the door will be enormous. This is bad enough if you have tickets for an event and need to get there but is also a bit of a shame if you don’t and were just hoping to hang around the city soaking up the atmosphere. It might not prove to me as much fun as you had anticipated.
TfL has clearly gone to a lot of effort modelling the passenger traffic scenarios over the period of the games. Check out their interactive tube map here. It’s a bit like the BBC’s own predictions for iPlayer traffic. The annoying bit is that the BBC, along with all ISPs in the UK I’m sure, will have additional capacity in place to cope with the increased traffic levels.
It looks to me as if TfL has just come up with this interactive map and told everyone they would be better off walking. I suppose that is planning of some sort! If you ask a London Cab driver what their plans are for the games many will tell you they are going to see how it goes for a day or two but think they will probably end up taking the time off and going on holiday which will compound the problem.
If employers in London haven’t yet put contingencies in place to facilitate homeworking for all their staff over this period then now is clearly the time to get their act together1.
PS London is also often “full” on a regular weekday. ie there are no available hotel rooms. I’d take a tent if I were you.
1 Timico specialises in supporting homeworkers and provides thousands of broadband connections for businesses for this very purpose – mail me at [email protected] if you want to know more.