Background

The 2012 London Olympics was a tremendous success, a festival or sport and a showcase for one of the finest cities in the world.

In the years running up to the Olympics, teams of people were busy planning and organising venues, transport, logistics and the securing the welfare of the huge number of people attending the village and array of sporting arenas across the country.

Any major event applies pressure to the local transport network. When London hosted the Olympics, an already frenetic transport system had the added pressure of large numbers of unfamiliar users placing high demands on the system at peak times. High levels of crowding and congestion coupled with unfamiliar users introduced a range of safety risks.

Sotera was a part of that planning process by working tirelessly with the Olympic Delivery Authority by undertaking the hazard identification, risk assessment and modelling of the multi-model transport to each of the venues on each of the days of the Olympics.

A knotty modelling challenge

Risk modelling relies heavily on data and using past data to predict the future. Usually the future can be forecast by modest extrapolation from existing data and accounting for predictable changes in behaviour.

Risk models also usually refer to a steady state operation.

These features presented a unique challenge: with the Olympics, there was no steady state, every day was different, every venue had its own transport arrangements and its own hazards. There was no relevant data that was readily modified to assess the level of risk.

Sotera had to draw on its years of experience in modelling crowding risk, assessing different transport modes and hazards and combined those factors to determine the overall level of risk and the acceptability of the risk at each venue on each day.

Transport hazards

As well as the risk modelling, Sotera, with the Olympic Delivery Authority, meticulously assessed the hazards for each transport mode for each venue in order to develop risk control strategies for each type of games attendee.

The talented and innovative team at the Olympic Delivery Authority continually devised options and processes to manage risk to a suitable level.

Sotera was delighted to make a tiny contribution to the success of possibly the greatest games on earth.

We also wish the dedicated and talented team we worked with every success in the future careers, many of whom have gone on to work on subsequent major sporting events worldwide.

Sotera risk solutions is a recognised supplier to the ODA is relation to their work for the London 2012 Olympics Games.