21 August 2012
The historian Arthur Marwick famously stated that total war is a great accelerator of social change. Will the total transport of the Olympics be a great accelerator of change? What will the transport legacy (apart the welcome new infrastructure) be? Too early to tell of course, but a number of themes seem to be emerging.
The creation of the Transport Control Centre in Transport for London’s (TfL) offices has brought together TfL, Network Rail and the train companies in a way never seen before. While you might think why on earth did they not do this before it seems to have caught the mood of collaborative working towards the common good – it will outlast the Olympics it seems. Everyone who has travelled to and from the Games comments on the number of staff visibly available – something our research has flagged up for years. There has been a deluge of information – emails, posters, announcements, etc. Many people seem to be working at home and altering travel patters which has certainly made London feel much more liveable.
So, come September will it just be going back to the grind? Yes, some part of that is inevitable, but I really hope staff are debriefed, we learn from the volunteers and valuable lessons are captured and spread.