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The public response to the London 2012 Olympic Games

11.01.2012

Ever since it was announced that London would host the 2012 Olympics, public opinion on the Games has been split, has Britain managed to reach any sort of a consensus?

The announcement that London would host the 2012 Olympic Games caused quite a stir all over the UK. While many people within the country were - and continue to be - excited that such a prestigious event will be held in the UK's capital city, others were slightly less enthused.

Much of the controversy around the games has stemmed from the sheer amount of investment that's been put into the project. Many people opposed to the idea of the Games were outspoken that such a large amount of money could be spent, whilst the rest of the country struggled to make its way through a recession. Indeed, while the end results of new stadiums and facilities are extremely impressive, the argument against the funding that's been put into preparing London for the Olympics is easy to see.

That being said, organisers claim that the economical benefits of hosting the games will outweigh the investments that have been made in the city in the long term. Again, it's easy to see the argument from that end as well - the sheer volume of visitors that London will receive from all over the world during the Olympics will surely bolster the economy.

The sheer volume of people that will be in the city has raised concerns around transportation, and how easy it will be to travel within London - be it for work or social purposes - during the Olympics. Whilst the Games will undoubtedly provide a wonderful backdrop, if the current residents of the already crowded city have trouble getting from A to B during them, it's fair to say that their opinion of how beneficial they really are could change quickly!

The Olympic committee have however spent a great deal of time preparing London's transport system for the games - with the bold aim of getting 100% of spectators to the Games by either public transport, walking or cycling. Whilst the preparation has been very impressive, only time will tell if it allows Londoners to go about their daily business uninterrupted while the Olympics are taking place.

After examining many of the more hotly debated aspects of the Olympics, it could be worth consulting the results from recent online surveys to see if any sort of a consensus has been reached within Britain. Well, in good news for organisers of the Games, a recent poll has shown that 58% of UK respondents felt that the games will bring large economic benefits to the UK, with only 16% of UK respondents disagreeing completely. The poll also showed that many Londoners are planning to take full advantage of the city's rail and tube service during the Games, with 31% and 26% of UK respondents choosing these options respectively. However, among the less popular options were biking and walking, with a large amount of UK respondents saying they were likely to drive around the city during the Games. Perhaps more concerning for the Olympic committee should be that 75% of those UK respondents surveyed said they had no interest in getting tickets for the Games at all, and that 15% of UK respondents tried, but were unable to secure tickets for the Games.

Whilst opinion is currently split on the Games, there are definitely strong arguments for, and against, holding the Olympics in London. Perhaps the best idea could be waiting until the Games have been and gone to come up with a definitive answer on whether they've been a great investment, or if the money and effort put into bringing them to London could have been better served elsewhere.