July 7, 2005
Officials now face heightened
emphasis on protecting 80,000 spectators in a new stadium
scheduled for completion before the 2012 Summer Games.
Photo Courtesy of London 2012
London's mood went from elation to gloom
as yesterday's news of the city's selection as Olympic host
for the 2012 Games was swept aside by today's rush-hour attack
on the capital's transportation system. With security already
a major issue for the Olympic planners, the terrorist incidents
will sharpen concerns, particularly over safeguarding the
city's vast subway system, which must be expanded ahead 2012.
Explosions at three London Underground metro sites and on
one city bus caused at least 33 deaths, 45 serious injuries
and 300 other casualties according to initial official estimates.
Two explosions hit trains between stations, one near the surface
and one in a deep tunnel. The third bomb was at a surface
station outside the centre. The bombs led to the city's entire
underground and surface transportation systems being shut
A day after announcing, in Singapore, London's narrow victory
over Paris to host the 2012 Games, International Olympic Committee
President, Jacques Rogge sent the city a message of sympathy.
Having celebrated its success, London's Olympic bid team was
still returning from Singapore to get the project moving.
With the Games planned for several hubs, transportation will
be a major element of their planning. Underscoring the point,
Transport Commissioner Bob Kiley today confirmed Mayor Ken Livingstone's
plans to invest around nearly $20 billion on transportation,
including extending the subway system east towards the planned
Olympic Park, some 14 km from the centre.
The park, calling for redevelopment of 200-ha of brownfield
land at the Lower Lea Valley, will include the main new venues.
The largest will be the 80,000-seat Olympic Stadium, which
has undergone a conceptual design by HOK+Sport+Venue+Event,
With construction not due to start on the estimated $465
million stadium till 2008, the planners will have time to
review security measures. Of the other 32 venues, 15 already
exist with two needing work. Another six new projects are
in construction or committed and two, permanent more facilities
While the U.K. government will contribute to the Games' financing,
augmented by London's Mayor, it will also have overall responsibility
for security. A subsidiary Security Directorate, to be set
up by the Games' organizers, will establish and implement
the strategy, with design and construction being a focus in
the development phase up to 2008.