London 2012 Paralympics poses new travel challenge for commuters
9:52am Tuesday 21st August 2012 in London Olympics 2012 - Latest News
COMMUTERS in south-east London and north Kent will face a fresh travel challenge when the Paralympics begins next week.
Transport bosses have been outlining plans to cope with another influx of visitors.
People are being urged by Transport for London to plan ahead and avoid travel hotspots during the Games, with traffic expected to be much heavier as schools return from their summer breaks.
Despite being smaller in scale than the Olympics , the Paralympics is the second largest sporting event in the world, with 2.5 million tickets expected to be sold.
The Olympic Park in Stratford, the ExCeL centre and Greenwich Park will be hit with the greatest demand as this is where many of the competitions will be staged.
Premier League football matches in the capital, BBC Proms in the Park and the Thames Festival are also expected to heap more pressure on the transport network during the Paralympics from August 29 to Sunday September 9.
London's transport commissioner Peter Hendy said: "We already know the London 2012 Paralympic Games will see the most spectators in its history, which is fantastic. And with the new school year beginning in the second week and larger groups expected to travel together on the public transport network, we expect these Games to hold some new and unique challenges.
"We're confident that transport will cope well during the Paralympic Games, as it did during the Olympics, provided businesses and Londoners continue to plan and change the way or time that they travel, using the tools and information available at getaheadofthegames.com ."
Mayor of London Boris Johnson said: "The Paralympic Games are shaping up to be the best ever as London continues to buzz with Olympic excitement and Paralympic tickets are selling like hot cakes.
"One of the things that made the Olympic Games such a great success was the way Londoners changed the way they usually travel, arriving at work a little earlier or later to avoid the busiest times.
“I want to thank every Londoner for that, and to ask everybody to plan ahead once more, so they can get out and enjoy everything London has to offer during the Paralympics and help keep our great city moving."
On the roads, a Paralympic Route Network (PRN) will be in operation, but on a smaller scale than the Olympic Route Network (ORN), TfL said.
The PRN will start to be introduced overnight on Saturday before it becomes fully operational on the first day of the Paralympics on August 29.
Will yo be making alternative travel arrangements for the Paralympics? Was your normal travel routine affected by the Olympics? Do you think London's transport has coped well during the summer? Add your comments below.