Left to right – Mr Hugh Sumner (Olympic Delivery Authority, Director of Transport); Secretary of State for Transport, Justine Greening; and Mr Miles Butler (Director of Environment, Dorset County Council). Photo taken at Dorset’s Traffic Control Centre.
People visiting Weymouth and Portland during the Games this summer should not leave their travel and accommodation arrangements to the last minute, according to the Secretary of State for Transport.
Justine Greening made the comments during a visit to Weymouth and Portland today to view preparations for the Olympic and Paralympic sailing events.
Overnight accommodation is still available in the area, but Olympic visitors planning to attend should book now or risk disappointment.
She also urged people travelling by car for the day to pre-book spaces at the temporary park-and-ride sites now and those intending to travel by rail or coach to book their seats now. Those driving into the area for a few days or more should check on the availability of parking in advance with where they are staying.
Justine Greening said:
“I want to make sure that everyone – visitors, businesses, hoteliers and others – makes the most of the Games coming to Dorset.
“Weymouth and Portland will be a great Olympic location and we want people to come and enjoy the experience.
“But with the area being so popular anyway as a tourist destination, when you add in the Olympics it will be exceptionally busy. To help minimise congestion on the roads, it is vital that people plan ahead. So however you’re planning to get to Weymouth, don’t wait – sort out your travel plans now and make sure you’re ahead of the game for a fantastic summer of sport.”
Locally, residents and visitors alike are being encouraging to walk, cycle or use public transport and consider car sharing where that is an option.
Olympic Board chair and transport spokesperson Angus Campbell explains:
“We have been planning our Olympic transport operation for the last four years, with all agencies working together to make sure road networks run as smoothly as possible, minimising disruption for local residents and businesses.
“Hosting the Olympic and Paralympic sailing events has enabled us to make huge road and transport improvements across the borough, with more than £120M invested in projects such as the Weymouth Relief Road, intelligent traffic light systems and real-time bus passenger information screens.
“We have not hosted anything of this scale in Dorset before so this summer will be ‘business as unusual’. I’d urge everyone to plan their travel and think about their journeys in advance.”
Commenting on the preparations so far, Justine Greening said:
“Having seen all of the hard work being carried out first hand, I am confident that no effort is being spared to get everyone where they need to be.
“But no doubt a lot of hard work remains ahead of us in order to deliver what will be a fantastic Olympic and Paralympic Games.”
Notes to editors