Greens reject support for the Olympics

The London Assembly Culture Committee published its Scrutiny Report on the Mayor’s Culture Strategy without any criticism of the current approach to the Olympics. The Greens are not prepared to go along with support for the London Olympic Bid as they remain unconvinced by current proposals.

The Greens’ biggest concern about the bid is over transport implications. Victor stated,"London’s transport system clearly cannot cope with expected demand from Londoners – how will it possibly cope with the addition of 150,000 spectators on any one day? This is before considering the transport needs of the 30,000 athletes, associated staff and journalists."

This demand would be a 15% increase in 2001 levels of trips ending in the area. One of the biggest ironies is that the consultants’ original report on the Olympic bid highlighted the need for increase in capacity on the Central line, when it has taken 2 months to return normal service after the Chancery Lane accident.

There is a lack of commitment to new transport infrastructure with the
timetables for key cross-London route continuing to slip, new links that would be crucial to a successful bid.

Victor said,"I know that many people support the bid as a means to getting new transport infrastructure in place. Yet it is a very expensive and inefficient way of doing so. Do we really want to rely on transport designed around needs for a temporary event?"

It is expected to cost £13 million just to bid for the Olympics and it
will not be clear until 2005 whether the bid will be successful. The
shortfall for the Olympics themselves is expected by consultants to be
£100 million.

Finally, the financial case for the bid is very unclear. Bidding is to
be led by the London Development Agency (LDA), a situation that is
already putting at risk the LDA’s existing programme for regeneration.
Despite a fast approaching deadline for the Olympic bid, the methods to
fund the likely shortfall are unclear – with possibilities of extra taxes
for Londoners and London businesses on the agenda.

"The support by the other political groups for this bid is despite the
unknown cost to Londoners."



1. The recommendation to the Mayor in the Culture Committee’s report reads: "The Committee believes London could and should host the 2012 Olympic Games and we welcome the Mayor’s support for the bid. Should the Government be supportive of the Olympic bid, the Strategy’s section on the Olympic Games should be expanded to include what agreement the Mayor has reached on funding for the Games and clearer links to the Transport Strategy.

2. From January 2003 TfL Technical Report on the Draft London Plan, 2001
figures show 1,085,000 trips ending in the whole of the East region of
London. There is already predicted to be an expansion of 16.8 % by
2016 before considering the impact of the Olympics.

3. For further information on the consultants’ costings see ‘London’s
Bid for the 2012 Olympic Games. A report from the London Assembly’s
Culture, Sport and Tourism Committee’, January 2003


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