The Active Spectator strategy
- By London Cycling Campaign on at 12:00am 9 November 2006
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A legacy for London
The Active Spectator strategy, conceived in 2004, has been endorsed by both the Mayor and the Olympics Committee.
Promoting cycling and walking is a cost effective way to enable many spectators to reach Olympic venues without contributing to pollution or congestion. Walking and cycling are also highly accessible to all Londoners as well as visitors from abroad.
Ubiquitous secure covered cycle parking needs to be provided at all Olympic venues and local stations. The construction of venues which will form part of the Olympic legacy, for example the Velodrome, should be designed, from the outset, to cater for those arriving by cycle both during the games, and after they are over.
Use of pedal cycles should be integral to all aspects of activities relating to the Olympics, including service vehicles and deliveries, as well as journeys within Olympic sites by athletes and officials. This would include use of cycle trailers, cycle rickshaws etc. as well as standard bicycles, in order to facilitate the movement of goods and people. Cycle use should be facilitated, in particular, in ‘back of house’ areas.
Access for cycle users and pedestrians
Olympic facilities should be as accessible as possible to cyclists and pedestrians, within the constraints of security. Current plans for the so called ‘loop road’ will need to be altered to enable adequate access for cycle users and pedestrians.
Flexible cycle hire facilities at convenient London locations need to be provided for those who wish to rent bikes. Promotion of cycle use could include special Olympic bikes that visitors could buy, ride around London during the Olympics and take home by means of special delivery arrangements after the games are over.
An active spectator games will need dedicated routes from Central London (highest hotel capacity, and hence many visitors) to the main Olympic zones. These should be designed to 'permeate' the capital and be both main road routes—cycling 'avenues'—festooned in Olympic regalia as well as off-road routes. Temporary restrictions on motor traffic along designated routes would serve to encourage cycle use.
Multi-modal journeys which include cycling will be a key factor in delivering the Active Spectator Games. This means that cycle access must be facilitated to all rail, tube and DLR stations and other transport hubs acting as feeder routes to the Olympics. These stations and transport hubs should also have adequate provision for secure covered cycle parking.
In order to be able to ensure integration of cycles and trains, improved access to many London stations is urgently required, e.g. the provision of wheeling ramps to facilitate access to platforms by cycle users.
Paralympics and Disabled Spectators
The Paralympics are an opportunity for the Olympic Family to act as role models for people with disabilities, and to demonstrate the ways in which modified and companion cycles can allow them to participate as active spectators. Olympic facilities should consider this when making provision for disabled spectators, officials and athletes, whether at the Paralympics or the Olympics themselves.
LCC has an All Ability Cycling working group, which was launched by the Mayor, and which seeks to provide information and advice to those who wish to use adaptive cycles.
The Olympic Legacy
The need for a sustainable Olympic legacy, particularly one which promotes public health and reduces reliance on motor vehicles, should be recognised throughout the planning and development process. As well as cycling infrastructure on roads and provision of green corridor routes, this should include residential and commercial developments associated with the Olympics.
Residential and commercial developments in the Stratford area should both include adequate cycle parking and, in the case of commercial and public buildings, changing and storage areas for cyclists. This will contribute during the run-up to the Olympics to build a base of potential active spectators, and leave a worthwhile legacy to Londoners afterwards.