Remember all the promises? Remember all the bullshit? All those politicians, eager to get their pix in the papers and on the telly, sharing with ‘Our Athletes’? Ah yes, the ‘selfless athletes’ who only wish to bring their country glory! (I should really stop all this sarcasm!) One point which was hammered home time after time was how ‘Green’ these Games were going to be. How everything possible was being done to diminish the ‘construction footprint’? How ‘Green’ were all the buildings; how ‘green’ were all the plans to make the ‘Environment’ suffer as little as possible? I almost listed ‘How Green was my Valley’, but I mustn’t get carried away!
Anyway, one of the proposals to help ‘remove’ all the non-green activities of building this really expensive and wasteful set of boondoggles buildings was to build a big lock which would allow river-borne barge traffic to serve the entire site. Now in itself, it’s not a bad idea, but of course the marketing people got hold of the idea and extrapolated to state that up to 1.75 million tonnes bulk construction materials moved by barge would allow:-
- up to 170,000 lorry journeys saved
- up to 4,000 tonnes of CO 2 saved
So, at a cost of £23 million, plus all the other feasibility, planning and other studies which raise the cost to around £40million, the Olympic Park was presented with access for barge traffic which was capable of removing huge numbers of trucks from the construction sites.
Job done? Not quite. The lock has been used by approximately five bargeloads per month for the first two months, and then zero. Green, very Green.