#40. AVOIDING TRANSPORT CHAOS DURING THE OLYMPICS. Even a stopped clock tells the right time twice a day. In yesterday’s Sun newspaper (which I accidentally read), Jeremy Clarkson described the transport problems London is likely to face during the Olympics:
"I’m sure that if you are interested in people jogging and jumping into sandpits, the Olympic Games will be a marvellous spectacle. But I’m not sure how you are going to get there. In the past 12 months there have only been three trouble-free days on the London Underground and already experts are predicting three-hour queues at various stations. The bus? I don’t think so, because in my experience, they are usually full of murderers and lunatics. You won’t be able to drive there either because, so far as I can see, every road will be either closed or turned into a Soviet style priority route... And if you attempt to fly to the stadium, you will be shot down by a ground-to-air missile."
Of course, this being Jeremy Clarkson, he didn't mention that there is a free, fast, fun, fuel-efficient and friendly way to travel to Olympic events: the bicycle.
No doubt, the reason Clarkson didn’t mention cycling is that he and most others sadly find it unthinkable that they could cycle in London - the main streets are too busy, and the backstreets are too hard to navigate on.
What a shame, then, that the clock is ticking on London’s opportunity to make cycling simple and accessible during the Olympics. By signing the streets of the London Cycle Network with the routes depicted on Simon Parker’s London Cycle Map, the authorities could enable spectators to get from anywhere to anywhere in the capital by following a few coloured routes, on safer, quieter streets. This would benefit not just local fans but visitors from all over Britain and the world, not to mention Londoners who couldn’t give a damn about the Olympics and are just trying to get from A to B.
If you’re reading this Jeremy, why not mention the London Cycle Map in your column? You and your viewers and readers may prefer cars to bikes, but we all love Great British design, and we all want to avoid transport chaos during the Olympics.