Glasgow must take heed of London travel lessons
Glasgow 2014 has to be very careful as to the travel message it gives out before its hosting of the Commonwealth Games.
I hate traffic jams. Being stuck in thousands of pounds worth of steel cage designed to swoop along highland roads or fly down an airstrip - or so Top Gear would have you believe - is my idea of a complete waste of time and a break down in the transport system.
And if the build-up to London 2012 was to be believed then this great city was going to give every traveller a heart attack.
One of the Olympic bus lanes during London 2012. Pic: Reuters
The BBC Scotland team arrived here early and television and radio stations pumped out dire warnings as to the havoc the Olympic lanes were going to cause.
Oh, the statistics were harrowing. 200,000 people were going to the Olympic park on 'Super Saturday'. Around 8.8 million tickets were available and 21,000 media were in attendance. Residents weren't happy, and the implicit advice was that people shouldn't travel.
Before all of the recent Games there have been problems. Two years ago at the Commonwealth games the Delhi athletes' village was a mess. Huge big tame monkeys called Langoors were called in to chase away the native monkeys and travel was to experience delays. Actually, it all worked.
In Athens at the 2004 Olympics the venues were meant to be unfinished. They were ready. Without tempting fate, Glasgow will be ready too.
So, what happened in London? Because Londoners were told not to travel, the shops have been hit hard. I even think that some people who had bought tickets didn't turn up to watch events they had paid for because they had been warned that the roads and the subway would be so busy.
But there have been no stories about travel delays. The travel network coped thanks to extra busses and trains and the Olympic bus lanes for media, dignitaries and athletes worked for a simple reason I will come back to.
London attracts 30 million tourists every year, which is 1.2 million people for the two weeks of the Games. The population of London is just over eight million. The reality is that a huge city like London could have, of a weekend, three Premier League football matches taking place with 150,000 people moving around the city.
In Edinburgh of a rugby weekend, around 70,000 people walk from the stadium to the city centre and the pubs, hotels and shops make money.
In Glasgow the same goes for an Old Firm match. 50,000 people watched AC/DC and Take That at Hampden Park in Glasgow and, having been to one of the concerts - I won't admit to which one - they were sadly let down by lack of travel capacity laid on as fans queued for trains from Mount Florida.
But here in London, Olympic tourists did not create such a big splash that the system ground to a halt.
Let's come back to the Olympic bus lanes. Oh, it's easy to dislike them. The Olympic rings are painted on, and, dear oh dear, the outside lanes were commandeered - the go faster lanes. The people who usually use them were kicked off them.
But Olympic venues here in London have been on the fringes of the city. And it will be the same for Glasgow. As people are coming in to work, the Glasgow 2014 lanes will, primarily, be taking people from their city centre hotels in exactly the opposite direction!
Just think of the venues. Ibrox, Hampden, Scotstoun, Kelvingrove, the SECC, mountain biking at Carmunnock, the wet stuff at Strathclyde Park or Tollcross.
As the citizens of Glasgow travel to the city centre to work, the athletes and media will be travelling the other way - except for evening events.
And the truth of the matter too is that so many of the Glasgow venues will be accessible by trains, subways, busses or even on foot.
But what of London? There has been over-capacity in the system for the Games with so many extra busses and trains put on that some travel empty. You never have to wait. Entrances and exits from stations have been split so as an arriving crowd comes in one door, those leaving are guided to another. Crowds move together.
London's transport worked. Glasgow needs to provide that extra public transport capacity.
Looking ahead just two years, the organisers have a crucial role to play in 2014. They must tell people to throng the city and make it the vibrant place we all want it too be.
When the Games come to Glasgow, travel to the events and come to our city, no matter where in the world you are from. It will be fine.