Olympishambles – or not?

I am already getting calls from foreign media to comment on the transport situation for the Olympics. They have already written their headlines centred around the word ‘chaos’, a term that seems to work in most languages. The story of the bus that supposedly go lost for four hours is typical of the output they are seeking. In fact, the driver took a couple of wrong turnings – the view of the main sites of London mentioned by one of the passengers was, actually,  on the planned route.

Of course there will be the odd hiccup. There will be some queues outside Tube stations and probably at least one quite incident with serious delays. However, and I am sticking my neck out here but I think the transport infrastructure (‘ancient’ as one foreign reporter suggested to me, not a word I would associate with the DLR, javeline trains or Overground) will bear up. The biggest worry, as I have repeatedly said and highlighted in a tweet to me from Robert Booth of the Guardian is security. If it will take an hour to get through, the back up of people waiting may well cause problems with trains disgorging new arrivals.

Moreover, the security is bound to be so dumb, with no proper risk assessment. I can just imagine the guards searching meticulously those Home Counties families who have brought their kids to the biggest event in their lives. A sensible system would subtly risk assess . Yes, there is a risk that it might degenerate into covert discrimination but that is where sound management should come in. The queues themselves, of course, become a risk that is not taken into account by the security robots.

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