Cycling to and from the London 2012 Olympics

The Olympics are not too far away with just under nine months to go before events kick off at the Olympic Stadium on July 27.  A great deal has been made by the organisers that these games will be a walk and bike friendly Olympics in terms of spectators getting to the games.

We recently saw the unveiling of eight key routes that walkers and cyclists will use to get to the Olympic Park and other sporting venues being used in the games.  The unveiling follows the completion of a £10m improvement package on the routes with the money being spent on 113 individual schemes along the eight routes.

The routes are:

  • Lea Valley North – routes to the north of the Olympic Park through the Lee Valley Regional Park
  • Epping Forest – a new route from the north-east of the Olympic Park through Wanstead and Epping Forest
  • Elevated Greenway – follows the route of the northern outfall sewer east from the Olympic Park to Beckton
  • Lower Lea and The Royal Docks – from the south of the Olympic Park to the Isle of Dogs, and on to Maritime Greenwich and other River Zone venues via the Thames Path
  • Limehouse Cut – from Limehouse Basin to the Olympic Park along the Limehouse Cut
  • Victoria Park and Stepney – connects the Olympic Park to Islington and Limehouse Basin along the Regent’s and Hertford Union Canals
  • Hackney Parks – connects green spaces in Hackney from Finsbury Park to the western entrance of the Olympic Park
  • Greenwich – follows the route of the Thames Path connecting Maritime Greenwich with the North Greenwich Peninsular and Woolwich.

All eight routes are now structurally complete with the Hackney Parks route being the first to have new way finding signage installed as part of a rolling programme. All routes will have way finding signage up by December.

Apart from signage, improvements on the routes include new cycle crossings, improved paving and lighting for safety and security.

The eight routes are part of a wider London Greenways network meaning spectators will be able to join the routes at several different points from existing cycle routes in and around London.

London 2012 Active Travel

The improvement work on the eight routes is being supported by the London 2012 Active Travel programme.  Developed by the London Organising Committee for the Olympic and Paralympic Games (LOCOG) and Transport for London (TfL), the programme will aim to increase the numbers of people cycling and walking before, during and after the Games.

London Cycle Guide

One programme project is the London Cycle Guide map that has been developed by TfL and part-funded by the Olympic Delivery Authority. The map highlights the 2012 Games Walking and Cycling routes. It covers the area surrounding the Olympic Park, showing how the new routes integrate within London’s wider cycling network. The map is already available to order online from

Sustainable transport charity Sustrans has been involved in the cycle routes work and is setting up some led rides and walks on the 2012 Walking and Cycling Routes on November 19. We hope to be on that ride and will report back our findings on the network.

Other London 2012 Active Travel programme projects include a Olympic games-time spectator cycling journey planner; ensuring secure cycle parking at every competition venue, offering cycle maintenance service at certain venues over the Games.

Bike parking for Olympic Park

It is forecasted that 300,000 spectators will cycle and walk to Games venues in London next summer, with 7,000 bike parking spaces being provided for the Olympic Park alone.

The ODA has announced that there will be 4,000 spaces at Victoria Park, 2,000 at the Northern Spectator Transport Mall and a further 1,000 at the Southern Spectator Transport Mall. Additionally, there will be cycle parking across the capital and temporary cycle parking for spectators at all competition venues.


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