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Saturday, 30 April 2011

Wedding Day

Well the media is full of the success Royal Wedding but a critical part of it was as a result of the excellent planning by all of the agencies involved and then its equally superb delivery by their teams.

I was able to witness first hand the work done by TfL. The closures of the streets, diversions for the bus routes, provision of information were all planned months in advance and in consultation with the many other organisations. There were full contingency plans for very many situations and as always it relied on the work of the bus, streets and Police control facilities which are all co-located and work like this together every day of the year, together with those of the other agencies.

During my visits to them all I witnessed first hand the very calm reactions to the inevitable problems which occurred and which were resolved without the slightest impact on the Royal occasion.

Most Londoners and visitors would be amazed just quite how much management of the network is always in place and how well it works together whether or not major events are underway.

But none of this would be possible without the tremendous experience and ability of the people who were working behind the scenes, those who had worked on the plans and those who were on duty in front of the public helping make their day enjoyable. They did a spectacular job and London is grateful for their tremendous professionalism. I have to say I am particularly proud of the team I have just joined.

Now if anyone wonders whether we will deliver the transport for the Olympic Games then they should look no further than the delivery on Friday. Plan, test, review and deliver is the key.

I think some of us did have some sore feet on Friday night. The crowds did stay in Central London until very late in the day and so the removal of barriers, opening of streets, and dealing with the departing masses kept my people busy until late but of course London woke up as normal this morning.

And despite all this hard work - some lovely touches. Yes the big screens did show an early 1950s Cinegazette from the British Transport Films archive for the early morning risers and, in a discreet display of subtlety when Kate Middleton's car headed through deserted Central London roads to Westminster Abbey we forced the traffic lights to green. Not one snapshot of her going through a red light and no opportune, funny headline!