|Singapore's Gardens by the Bay|
I am sorry to all my followers that you've heard so little from me of late. Suffice to say it has just been really busy in the post-Olympics period as we now focus on the Mayor's manifesto commitments and we wrap up all the Olympics learning and document it for the future. This is not just about future Games but all major events that we might get involved in.
There is a huge thirst for information about the Olympic Games and I am just back from Singapore where I was delighted to be the keynote speaker at a conference hosted by the Land Transport Authority. Singapore is of course a fitting place to start as this is where the IOC elected London as the 2012 host city back in 2005.
Nor surprisingly Singapore has many of the challenges we face in London. A growing population and demand for transport. Major rail projects underway but some time yet to coming on stream and a need to cope with the requirements in the meantime, all, of course subject to differing political opinion as to how it should be achieved and paid for.
It is some 15 years since I was there: it was a periodic stopover when I commuted to Hong Kong for Board meetings when my company was owned by the Chinese. Since then more land reclamation, significant new development, and the corresponding rise in demand. Singapore also boasts a congestion charging scheme which predates London by many years and is highly automated and dynamic.
|Electronic Road Pricing in action|
Audiences are very interested in the Olympic legacy - not just the physical infrastructure such as the DLR extension and Stratford International station - but the learning. Our Travel Demand Management demonstrated that we can achieve behavioural change by properly targeting our audience and this shows much promise for the future.
Similarly, for the first time, we properly addressed freight issues. Freight occupies 25% of Central London's roadspace. Freight competes with public transport for kerbside space, carriageway space; it is licensed by the same Traffic Commissioner and the vehicles are built and powered by the same manufacturers. Yet for too long the industries merely stared at each other over an unspoken divide. The Games has helped us realise in the future we will have to work much more collaboratively and, I am delighted to say, the freight industry has taken up these opportunities very enthusiastically.
I have no doubt that whilst we won't have anything to match the Olympic Games, our 2013 will be hugely challenging and exciting!