Sustainable Transport Winner: London 2012

When London won the bid to host the 2012 Olympic and Paralympic Games, the city made a commitment to deliver a truly sustainable Games. Its main aim was to get 100% of spectators to venues by walking, cycling and using public transport, and to inspire people of all ages to change the way they travel.

The Active Travel programme was developed to encourage more walking and cycling before, during and after the Games. According to London 2012, the Active Travel programme is the first Games to run a programme of this scale.

Established in 2006, the Active Travel Advisory Group was comprising representatives from lobby groups, local authorities and delivery partners who came together to offer advice and maximise the opportunity provided by the Games.

Over 75km of walking and cycling routes in East London have been enhanced by Transport for London (TfL) and delivery partners, following £10m investment from the Olympic Delivery Authority.

The investment saw, in total, 113 schemes delivered across eight key routes, with improvements including resurfacing, widening cycle lanes, re-aligning cycle ways and improving road crossings. Many of the routes are along towpaths and away from vehicular traffic.

Completed in October 2011, the routes were collectively known as the 2012 Games Walking and Cycling Routes and formed the main spectator routes used by people walking and cycling to the Olympic Park and River Zone venues during the Games.

And with legacy in mind, the routes were designed to provide enjoyable and useful travel options for years to come. In addition to the improvements, a comprehensive programme of ‘way-finding’ has been delivered by TfL to aid navigation with around 280 signs being installed along the eight routes.

“Never before has an Olympic and Paralympic Games placed such an emphasis on encouraging walking and cycling and ensuring a long-term legacy,” said London 2012.

“Lessons learned will be passed onto future Games and other large scale sporting events and there is a huge opportunity to secure good provision for walking and cycling in the Olympic Park post Games,” it added.

The programme helped London 2012 become the most sustainable games to date and continues to provide cities across the world, including its successor Rio De Janeiro, with sound advice on how to promote and encourage more sustainable forms of transport during a heavily populated event.

Commenting prior to the games, Defra said: “By changing the behaviour of spectators at the Games to more sustainable modes of travel, London 2012 will provide a significant boost to long-term behaviour change in London, as well as for international spectators.”

Commission for a Sustainable London 2012 issued a statement on 4 July entitled: ‘Better provision for walkers and cyclists ‘icing on the cake’ in which it said: “By encouraging and supporting people who want to travel by greener and more healthy means, LOCOG, TfL and the ODA are contributing to a long term legacy of changing behaviour around transport and encouraging the public to become more active.”

This initiative went beyond simply ticking the boxes. They engaged with cyclists and addressed barriers to adoption, including having mechanics on the parks to fix punctures – a great way to encourage legacy for the future

Alstom Transport & B&M Waste Services
Howard Tenens
Network Rail

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Energy Efficiency: Sainsbury’s

Waste Management: Food & Drink: Sainsbury’s

Sustainability Reporting: Coca Cola Enterprises

Renewable Energy: Northumbrian Water Group

Best Environmental Consultancy: Arup

Sustainability Practitioner: Kirsten Henson, KLH Sustainability

Water Management: ABP Food Group

Sustainable Transport: London 2012

Sustainable Building: P+HS Architects

Carbon Management: The Co-operative Group

Stakeholder Engagement: Sony Europe

Waste & Resource Management: Nextek

Sustainability Communications: The Co-operative Group

IEMA Graduate Award: Lorna Philbin

Sustainability Leader: Dale Vince, Ecotricity


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Entry to the 2013 Sustainability Leaders Awards will open at the beginning of March 2013. Bookmark our awards site to be kept in the loop.

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