The exodus begins


Well, it's all over. And what a Games!Closing ceremony.jpg

London's airports are bracing themselves for the exodus, with Heathrow expecting an additional 21,000 passengers that at its peak average. A Games terminal (and check-in at the Olympic village) is there to ease the strain.

Casting aside the prognostications of doom, London rose to the challenge of transporting its extra visitors around by public transport. The Tube carried 30% more passengers than normal, Overground 47%, and the DLR 100%. These are staggering increases in what is a stretched network but, largely, it coped, and coped well.

Now London will get back to normal. On Tuesday, the Games Lanes close. The Tube, DLR, buses and Overground should now be less busy.

And what lessons can be learnt?

Operating the Games in London was always going to be a huge challenge. Plaudits must go to the organisers for achieving what may thought impossible. Certainly one of the reasons the network coped was the introduction of flexible working and varied start and end hours for many of those who work in London. This reduced the strain on the transport network in a way that no amount of upgrades could manage.

If employers take this practice to heart then we may just see a real, lasting legacy, that will benefit London for years to come.