Saturday, July 21, 2012
With less than a week to go until the Games begin, Kate Scotter gives you a guide on how to have a memorable time at the Olympics.
Be prepared for security checks when you arrive: this will be like taking an international flight at an airport. It will be busy and you will have to queue, so get there early – check your venue information for your recommended arrival time.
Bring as little as possible with you: the more you bring, the longer it will take to go through security. One small soft-sided rucksack or handbag is allowed per person – this must fit under your seat. If you have a ticket for football, it is advised not to take a bag – if you do, your entry will be delayed and you may miss your event.
Read the lists of prohibited and restricted items before you leave: you cannot bring in liquids over 100ml, including water – but at most venues you can bring an empty plastic water bottle and fill it up at water points inside venues. There is a wide range of food available to buy, but if you need to bring your own food, it must fit inside your bag.
Leave plenty of time to travel to your venue: London and the UK will be extremely busy and very different to what you are used to. Use the spectator journey planner to find the best route and, where necessary, book your travel to make sure you get to your event on time.
Ticket holders for events in and around London can use their Games Travelcard for travel in London zones one to nine.
Remember the only way to pay is by Visa (debit, credit or prepaid card) or cash.
The countdown to the Games is nearly over – and those going to watch the action in London are being urged to plan their journey carefully.
Extra services and more staff have been pulled in to cope with the increased demand expected on the trains as passengers head to the Olympic Games.
Some special services have also been timetabled to enable passengers travelling to London from Norfolk to make their return journey.
Train operator Greater Anglia will have, on average, an extra 150,000 seats per day on its services across the region, with additional trains and carriages on services into London.
There will be extra late-night trains from Liverpool Street and Stratford for people attending evening events at the Olympic Park, and the last train from Liverpool Street to Norwich will depart at 1.30am.
The operator will have extra staff at key stations, including Norwich, Ipswich, Stratford and London Liverpool Street, during the Games to assist customers with their enquiries and to provide support to the existing customer service teams.
They have been drawn from Greater Anglia’s workforce and will see train planners, finance controllers and admin staff working to support the company’s customer service team, helping visitors with their Olympic-related enquiries.
Andrew Goodrum, Greater Anglia’s customer service director, said: “We’ve put together a team from our staff to provide additional help at key stations during the Games.
“They will support our customer service team in providing the best service possible and will be on hand to help with any specific Games-related enquiries.”
Meanwhile, First Capital Connect (FCC) is adding 760,000 extra seats to its train service during the London 2012 Olympic Games – but has warned there may still be times when passengers will not be able to board the first train of their choice.
FCC customer service director Keith Jipps said: “We have worked hard to keep our customers moving during the London 2012 Olympic Games by adding 760,000 extra seats across the period through longer trains and additional services, many of them late at night.
“However, there will be times when passengers may have to queue; indeed they may not be able to get on board their first choice of train. Please think about taking a slower stopping service and plan ahead to avoid the busiest times if possible.”
London Bridge is expected to be exceptionally busy and the advice is to avoid it if possible, especially if interchanging with the underground – FCC passengers are being urged to consider using Blackfriars station instead.
On Monday, July 30, passengers will not be able to board an FCC train at London Bridge from 6pm to 10pm, when platforms 1-6 will be exit only. Passengers are again advised to use Blackfriars station instead, a 16-minute walk.
Ticket holders have a Games Travelcard included in the price of their tickets, which enables travel through zones one to nine on the day of their event, and can be used on London Underground, London Overground, Docklands Light Railway, buses, trams and National Rail services.
They will be able to use their Games Travelcard on the Javelin service between St Pancras and Stratford International stations and to and from Watford Junction, and will be entitled to one-third off the cost of the 2012 Games river bus express or the 2012 Games river tour service.
Anyone who has tickets for events at Brands Hatch, Eton Dorney, Hadleigh Farm or the Lee Valley White Water Centre, will also receive a Games Travelcard.
As well as being valid on public transport in London zones one to nine, they will be able to use their Games Travelcard to travel by National Rail between London and Sevenoaks (for Brands Hatch); Slough and Windsor and Eton Riverside (for Eton Dorney); Leigh-on-Sea (for Hadleigh Farm); and Cheshunt (for Lee Valley White Water Centre).
Tickets for events at co-host city venues –Weymouth and Portland; the City of Coventry Stadium, Coventry; Old Trafford, Manchester; Millennium Stadium, Cardiff; Hampden Park, Glasgow; and, St James’ Park, Newcastle – do not include Games Travelcards for public transport.