Newspaper article The Evening Standard (London, England)

Hotfoot It to Work during the Olympics; THE OLYMPIC COMMUTE

Newspaper article The Evening Standard (London, England)

Hotfoot It to Work during the Olympics; THE OLYMPIC COMMUTE

Article excerpt

WEEK ONE: STEVE CORDING HOPS OFF THE TRAIN EARLY AND RUNS THE REST OF HIS WAY TO WORK THERE was fresh, clean air; the smell of morning dew on the grass; a glistening pond not quite golden but welcoming enough no jostling; no swearing and no squeezing into tight spaces against closing doors. It was difficult to grasp that I was on my commute into work and that the only sweaty body around was my own.

Despite living in south-west London for 10 years, I had never run or walked across Wimbledon Common before, yet here I was, having left the 8.04 from Berrylands far behind, pulled on my trainers and set off.

Being freed from the clamour and aggravation of the packed eighth carriage of my daily South West Train was liberating. Travelling to work by public transport is one of the most stressful experiences that we Londoners are subjected to on a regular basis. An estimated one million extra passengers on the buses, Tubes and railways during the Olympic Games in three weeks' time will only make things even more congested.

My regular journey takes me through two potential hotspots: Wimbledon ; where the Olympic tennis tournament will take place and Earl's Court, host to the volleyball competition.

So once the Games begin on July 27, taking a different route into the office at High Street Kensington is going to save me time and reduce stress. Using Transport for London's GetAheadoftheGames.

com website I plotted my course from Berrylands.

Jumping off a stop early at Raynes Park, I headed up Lambton Road a surprisingly steep hill first thing in the morning past the local mummies pushing their icandys and bugaboos on their way to the quaint Hollymount Primary School.

I left my first traffic jam of the morning behind on Woodhayes Road before reaching rambling heaven. Wimbledon Common is a vast open space like any other, with footpaths saturated and muddied from the recent rain, the odd low branch or protruding root to negotiate and, now and again, an overzealous dog seeking your attention after escaping the clutches of its owner. But on this morning it felt a bit special, a little like it was all my own. …

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