Wednesday, July 25, 2012

Get Ready (Get Ready For The Laughing Gas)

Advice offered on the Mole Valley website for those attending the Olympic Road Race this coming weekend is as follows:

If you are planning to make the journey to Mole Valley on 28 or 29 July by car, there are five designated car parks for the race weekend. Four of the car parks are in Leatherhead and Dorking and are owned by Mole Valley District Council and the fifth is a privately owned car park in nearby Tadworth.

That’s it…? FIVE car parks? With a capacity of 3,700 vehicles? Lets say that averages out at 3 people per vehicle. Simple mathematics means they’ve legislated for 11,100 people arriving by car.

Earlier this year, ( / February 3rd – article penned by Guy Martin) the District Council was reported as saying it was impossible to predict how many people were likely to attend. Estimates had been put forward of 250,000 people but… the council were ‘allowing for 90,000 on each day.’

The District Council – in a report presented to councilors – admitted (then) that transport plans and logistics were complicated by uncertainty over how many people might attend.

The report stated: “It is important for the council to be comfortable with expenditure that may only be experienced by a small section of our community and an unknown number of visitors”.

Mole Valley District Council leader, James Friend stated: “We have tried with [Olympics organising committee] LOCOG and the county council to come up with an estimate. The field of uncertainty is in tens of thousands.”

Councillor Emile Aboud predicted that many more than 90,000 will turn up. “Where on earth are we going to find space for 250,000 people?” he asked.

I’d imagine, right now, its squeaky-bum time down at Mole Valley District Council.

IF… repeat IF… MVDC still believe less than 100,000 people are going to show up then they must be in some form of collective state of denial.

Have none of the local councilors taken note of the acres of space that all of the print media – broadsheets as much as the tabloids – have given over to one of the biggest British sporting achievements of the last millennium? Has not one of them noticed that ITV reported they attracted their highest viewing audience ever for this year’s Tour de France?

Hasn’t anyone computed that that success will guarantee spectators in the millions?

But… as of this week… the advice offered to potential attendees on ALL of the local authority websites suggests that this isn’t going to be that big an event.

Get ready… get ready for the laughing gas good people of Surrey.

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