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London is going to be busy during the Olympic and Paralympic Games. An extra three million journeys are forecast for the busiest days of the Olympics, which take place from 27 July to 12 August, and the Paralympics from 29 August to 9 September.
Follow these tips to keep delays and frustration to a minimum – and we suggest a healthy dose of patience as well.
1) Plan Ahead
Don’t dash out of the door and work out your route on the way. Prepare your travel plans in advance using the resources on offer, and remember that every day of the Games is different due to the multiple events taking place.
2) Use the Tools Available
Transport for London (TfL) have created wealth of travel resources for the Olympics, including interactive hotspot maps for public transport and roads which show day-by-day breakdowns of busy areas. There are charts of predicted wait times for each 30 minute period at every tube station and you can search for any temporary road changes in your area. For those with Olympic tickets, there is an online spectator journey planner. You can also sign up to Transport for London’s social media channels for the latest travel alerts.
3) Adapt to the Olympics
If you know your route will be busy, consider leaving earlier or later or taking a different way to avoid peak periods. For short journeys, cycling or walking could be faster – there are 47 tube journeys that can be walked in under 10 minutes. Consider using river transport like Thames Clippers too, as there’ll be extra boat services laid on.
4) Be Aware that Transport will Change
Bus services could be diverted because of temporary road changesand bus stops may be moved or temporarily suspended. If stations are crowded, TfL may introduce a one-way system or close altogether if they get too full. There will be extra services too – Tube and DLR trains will run about an hour later than usual and there will be extra evening services on the Jubilee, Central and District lines.
TfL has outlined planned changes and signs in stations will display the latest information, but it’s wise to check the TfL journey planner before you travel. You can also follow @GAOTG on Twitter or sign up for Olympic travel email updates to keep up to date.
5) Avoid Driving if at all Possible
TfL’s advice is to avoid driving in Central London and around Games venues from mid-July if you can. It also suggests motorists avoid the Olympic Route Network, 109 miles of road linking Games venues together. Watch out for areas where Olympic road events will take place, such as the Cycling Road Races on 28 and 29 July.
You can put any Olympic travel questions to TfL in a Twitter chat on 21 June at 1-2pm. Follow the hashtag #GAOTG to take part.