Tip-top transport at London Games

Project focus

Strong programme management, hard on delivery but light on process was essential for transportation during London 2012.
Transport during London 2012

Keeping the capital moving during the biggest sporting event in London’s recent history was no small feat.

The projects undertaken by the Olympic Delivery Authority (ODA) and its transport partners guaranteed that the influx of visitors during the Games' time could move around with ease, and that Londoners would experience minimal disruption.

Sue Kershaw is the deputy director of transport at the ODA. Part of her mandate covered the delivery of all rail and road transport for the Games and the programme management of the wider portfolio that ensures delivery of the strategy enshrined in the Olympic transport plan. 

Kershaw says: “I provided the ODA with the structure needed to deliver on time, fit for purpose and, of course, providing value for money for the public purse. 

“The ODA funded, or part funded, a number of schemes, which were complete and mostly operational, allowing Londoners to benefit from the investment, more than a year before the Games.” 

These projects included "javelin", the high-speed, dedicated shuttle service operating between London St Pancras International, Stratford International and Ebbsfleet International Railway during the Games.

The Travel Demand Management programme, funded by the ODA and run by TfL, encouraged people to change their travel behaviours to free up capacity on transport systems. This helped meet the increased demand generated during the Olympics and Paralympics.

Sue says that she is proud, elated, and hungry to replicate her success on other programmes. 

“The biggest success of the transport projects delivered in 2012 was true collaboration. More than 40 organisations were responsible for different aspects of transport during the Games, so working together as an integrated transport industry was essential,” she said.

So what lessons does Sue have to share? “Strong programme management, hard on delivery but light on process is essential; the roles and responsibilities of all the key players need to be clearly defined at the outset; and a top level board and supporting groups drawing together all the transport partners needs to be established at the outset, together with supporting focus groups and sub-boards. A clear lead and governance needs to be endorsed by all key players," she concludes.

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