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Saturday, 2 March 2013

Melbourne

Friday was the day for the Australian Roads Conference and I was there by 0800 to get set up.

These days, I do my presentations straight off the iPad in a way that wouldn't disgrace any Apple product launch. In this one about London's road network and the lessons from London 2012, it has beautifully embedded film footage of the Games themselves and 'fast forward' journeys by Underground and by road as seen by the passenger.

It was well received by my Melbourne audience, where 56 years have elapsed since they hosted an Olympic Games. The city is presently formulating a bid to do so again - 2024 and 2032 are both possibilities.

I was delighted to meet, for the first time, author Tom Vanderbilt. Tom wrote the acclaimed book "*Traffic - Why do we drive the way we do (and what it says about us)" which I have often enthused about.

After the conference I called to see my old friend Ian Dobbs who is CEO of Public Transport Victoria. We couldn't quite remember how many years - we think 21 - since we met on the level crossing at Sawbridgeworth. In his capacity with what was then Network SouthEast he had no trains and hundreds of passengers whilst I had some replacement buses! He then went on to greater things in UK and here in Australia.



Melbourne was hosting the "Longest Lunch in the World" which had 1200 people havinglunch in one very long line across Fitzroy Gardens and all wearing the same straw hats to protect them from the hot sun. I'm sorry that I am still unable to upload any photographs as the 1920s Melbourne trams and the sight of 1200 open-air diners are all worth seeing. I will fix this as soon as I can.

By early evening I was arriving in Sydney for the next stage of my trip, landing right into their Mardi Gras festival weekend which is only second to Rio in terms of size.

A full day planned for Saturday......


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