Travel Demand Management During the London 2012 Olympic and Paralympic Games

Travel Demand Management During the London 2012 Olympic and Paralympic Games


C Springett, Olympic Delivery Authority; S Reid, MVA Consultancy, UK


The London 2012 Olympic and Paralympic Games will place unprecedented demands on transport networks. We will chart TDM's role in helping operators manage those networks effectively and draw out lessons for future behavioural change programmes.


The London 2012 Games will see hundreds of thousands of visitors in London for the Olympic Games and the Paralympic Games. There will be 8.8 million Olympic tickets and over 2 million Paralympic tickets available as well as a wide variety of cultural events and free to view sports events such as the Olympic Marathon, Cycle Road Race etc that will attract significant crowds. It is currently forecast that there will be 20 million additional journey made in London during the course of the Olympic Games, including 3 million on the busiest day.

These journeys will be concentrated in those parts of London and London's transport network that serve the Games venues. This will put significant pressure on transport networks in certain places at certain times, for example it is anticipated that London Underground will carry more passengers per day than any time in history.

In addition Games operations will have effects on highway networks, with the movement by road of 55,000 Games Family members, the operation of crowd management measures in central London and the closure of roads for road events. This will displace traffic from central London with consequent impacts on the surrounding network.

While London is used to hosting large events, the Games will place sustained pressure on transport systems. A comprehensive transport demand forecasting exercise has been undertaken to provide insights into predicted Games-time travel. From this analysis, potential 'hotspots' have been identified both inside and outside of London. These hotspots represent pinch points on the public transport and highways networks where demand is forecast to exceed the capacity at certain times of day, if nothing is done.

In support of the twin objectives of delivering the Games and keeping London moving, a Travel Demand Management (TDM) behaviour change programme of unprecedented scale and scope has been developed and implemented. This paper will describe the programme, its strategy and outputs and, by the time of the ETC conference, its results.

The TDM project is there to ensure that Games Family, spectators and workforce can arrive at their events in good time, allowing them to focus on experiencing the atmosphere and spirit of the Games without travel difficulties detracting from that experience. TDM also seeks to manage the expectations of journey makers travelling for purposes other than the Games and enable the business community to prepare sufficiently.
The objective of the TDM programme is 'to influence enough people, enough' in order to free up capacity on the transport system to accommodate the increased demand generated by the Games. Travellers are being influenced to adopt the 4Rs:
a) reducing their overall need to travel; or
b) re-timing, re-routing and/or re-moding.
As a guide, the International Olympic Committee expects that host cities should aim for a general reduction of 20-25% in background demand.

The TDM workstreams
The TDM strategy has a core foundation layer of activities, namely, a national and London awareness campaign and a national business influencer campaign, which drives travellers to use travel tools and businesses to an on-line travel toolkit.
A series of targeted activities are then implemented around hotspots, for example, around public transport pinch-points, the road network and routes to/from venues.
The four workstreams are:
i) Travel Advice for Business - advice to businesses and other large trip generating organisations
ii) Freight - managing background freight demand at Games-time.
ii) Marcomms - Travel marketing, communications and awareness campaigns
iv) Traveller Information Services - including the Spectator Journey Planner and the provision of customer information.
It is proposed that this paper will:
a) Chart the development and implementation of the TDM programme;
b) Describe the behavioural change model that was used to underpin the programme;
c) Explain how awareness, intention to plan and intention to change behaviour were tracked through time for different audiences as well as monitoring actual behaviour change;
d) Demonstrate how the successful the programme was in terms of reduction in behaviour change;
e) Draw out the lessons learnt and examine how they might be incorporated into transport planning and behavioural change programmes in the future.


Association for European Transport