What will be the impact of the Olympics on commuters?
When I was a civil servant in London in the 1990s, I was pretty comfortable with disruptions on the Underground; as long as they didn’t go on too long and there were alternatives, I took them in my stride.
With the arrival of the Olympics circus this year, my thoughts go out to the millions of commuters into London who are going to find their travelling landscape changed for the Summer. And not just from 27 July to 12 August (a pretty short period after all – when at least some regular commuters could expect to be on holiday). I know of organisations who are planning for the effects of the Olympics transport plans from end May onwards!
No wonder then if organisations within the M25 are becoming particularly interested in alternatives to having staff travel into work 5 days a week. What a good test this will be for the concept of home working for businesses and NGOs who haven’t tried it before!
There may be a longer term upside to the Olympics transport arrangements: TfL say that all 2012 transport improvements are on track for delivery well before the Olympics, so there is a chance that London workers will get the longer term benefits early.
But will work patterns revert to the pre-Olympics patterns for Londoners and commuters? I’m betting some lessons about the benefits of remote working will have been learned and things won’t quite be the same again!