Golden exploits of Wiggins fail to persuade London 2012 visitors to get on their bikes
Cahal Milmo is the chief reporter of The Independent and has been with the paper since 2000. He was born in London and previously worked at the Press Association news agency. He has reported on assignment at home and abroad, including Rwanda, Sudan and Burkina Faso, the phone hacking scandal and the London Olympics. In his spare time he is a keen runner and cyclist, and keeps an allotment.
Thursday 02 August 2012
The golden exploits of Bradley Wiggins may have lifted the nation's spirits but, when it comes to getting to the Olympics at least, it is doing little to persuade them to get on their bikes.
An £11.5m plan by the organisers of London 2012 to help spectators cycle to the Olympic Park, which includes 7,000 supervised bike parking spaces, has so far failed to generate much enthusiasm for two-wheeled transport among the public despite Britain's success in road cycling and hoped for glory in the velodrome.
The main cycle parking "hub" for London 2012 in Victoria Park, to the east of the Olympic Park, has a capacity for 4,200 bikes. When The Independent visited it this morning, just 250 spaces had been taken.
A member of London 2012 staff said that the average number of visitors had been about 250 per day with other bike hubs at Stratford and Eton Manor similarly under-used.
Games organiser Locog did not immediately comment on the empty bike stands.
After winning the London bid, the Olympic Delivery Authority said it expected up to 4,000 people to cycle to the Games on peak days. Speaking in 2009, ODA Chairman John Armitt said: "London 2012’s aim is for 100% of spectators to get to the Games using public transport, walking or cycling. The ODA is investing more than £11.5m to make walking and cycling more attractive options for spectators."
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