The 2012 Paralympic Games are Here!

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London Paralympic Games 2012

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With the Paralympic Torch making its way through London to the Olympic Park in Stratford, London is preparing to host the Paralympic Games 2012, which run from the Opening Ceremony tonight, August 29, through till September 9.

Transport for London has announced the Paralympic Route Network or PRN went into operation at 6am this morning, and will operate from 6am to midnight daily during the Games.

TfL says the Paralympic Games, although smaller in scale than the Olympics, are the second largest sporting event in the world and transport to and around venues will be busier than usual.  

The second week of the Paralympic Games is expected to be busier than the first, as many schools return from summer holidays. 

Other events, such as Premier League Football matches, BBC Proms in the Park and the Thames Festival are also happening in London during the Paralympics.

The Paralympic venues are situated in the east of London, at the Olympic Park, ExCeL, North Greenwich Arena, Greenwich Park and the Royal Artillery Barracks at Woolwich, as well as out of London venues, Eton Dorney, Weymouth & Portland and Brands Hatch.

As a result, the impact on the roads and public transport network in central and west London will be much less than during the Olympics. 

TfL is reminding businesses and Londoners to plan ahead to avoid the busiest times and places using the tools and information available at Get Ahead of the Games.

On most days, the number of people travelling to the Olympic Park will be as many as travelled there during the Olympics, with up to 215,000 spectators expected. 

TfL anticipates that on the public transport network, the busiest times will be between 7.30am -9.30am and from 4pm - 7pm each day on the following lines:

Jubilee Line:  from Waterloo to Stratford
Central Line:  from Holborn to Stratford
Docklands Light Railway (DLR):  across the network

Some key National Rail stations, such as King's Cross St Pancras, London Bridge, Paddington, Waterloo and Victoria are also expected to be busier than normal around these times.

As during the Olympic Games, London Underground, the DLR and London Overground will run an hour later, with the last trains leaving central London and venues around 1.30am. 

National Rail services will also operate additional services during the Paralympics. Spectators can use their Games Travelcard for free travel on the day of their event, on public transport in the capital as well as from London to Brands Hatch and Eton Dorney.

On the roads, a Paralympic Route Network (PRN) is much smaller than the Olympic Route Network (ORN).  Again, it is focused on the City of London, where the International Paralympic Committee and world's media will be based, and venues in the east of London.

The PRN in London has just 8.7 miles of Games Lanes and, as was the case during the Olympics, these will be operated flexibly and opened to general traffic if demand from Paralympic vehicles is low.

The Paralympic Opening Ceremony will take place in the Olympic Park this evening, August 29, and Tfl says the Jubilee line, District line, Central line and DLR will all be busier than usual.

A live site for 10,000 people is open in Trafalgar Square from Wednesday, meaning nearby stations are expected to be busier than usual.

Entry to BT London Live at Trafalgar Square is free, with a no ticket first come first served entry system, and it will be open daily from 11am till 10pm, offering free fun with all the family including Have-A-Go-sports activities, music showcases and live cultural performance.

Visitors will also be able to watch all the London 2012 Paralympic sporting action beamed in live, courtesy of Channel 4, the official Paralympic broadcaster, on a giant, 60m² state-of-the-art screen plus the chance to see onstage appearances from the ParalympicsGB medallists.

For a full guide to events in Trafalgar Square, kicking off with a free live show from Spector at 7.15pm ahead of the Opening Ceremony,  visit the website.


August 29, 2012