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Last Updated: Tuesday, 12 June 2007, 20:20 GMT 21:20 UK
Olympic inspectors pay site visit
London has promised a dream Olympic park
The International Olympic Committee has been touring sites in London as part of a three-day visit to assess preparations for the 2012 Games.

Members of the IOC visited the site at Stratford, east London.

Key targets for the project include making the UK a leading sporting nation and securing 50,000 new jobs.

London 2012 chairman Lord Coe said an inquiry had begun into a promotional film for the Olympic logo, which reportedly triggered epileptic fits.

Culture, Media and Sport secretary Tessa Jowell reported a "very positive" response from the visiting IOC delegates to the plans which were announced.

As part of the visit, inspectors were the first to try out a seven-minute shuttle between Stratford International Station and the new St Pancras International Station.

They were taken on a tour of the site, where they were required to use their imagination to look beyond the demolition work and diggers.

March 2009 Pylons removed and underground power lines installed
Dec 2010 Olympic park's roads, bridges, utilities built
June 2011 Main stadium, aquatics centre, Velopark and other venues completed
Dec 2011 Media centre built and Javelin high speed rail link implemented
March 2012 Athletes' Village built and fitted out
June 2012 Olympic transport plan implemented
Source: Olympic Delivery Authority

Most of the building work is not due to begin until next year, but tunnels have been dug to carry power cables through the site.

The IOC will continue to inspect venues once a year until 2008, when progress will be subject to scrutiny every six months.

Earlier, Ms Jowell said: "We are doing pretty well and I think we will have a good story to tell the IOC inspectors this week."

At a press conference, Ms Jowell announced five legacy promises which she described as "arguably the most ambitious legacy" for any Olympics. These are:

  • to make the UK a world leading sporting nation
  • transformation of the heart of the East End of London
  • a commitment that a generation of young people will have the opportunities to take part in volunteering associated with the Olympics
  • commitment to the environment and sustainability within the Olympic park
  • to boost the position of Britain as a creative and inclusive capital

Also speaking at the press conference, London Mayor Ken Livingstone said the London games would be "the most successful Olympic games since Barcelona, in terms of its regeneration legacy".

The Olympic park and regeneration is expected to bring 40,000 new homes and 50,000 new jobs to the area, one of the most deprived in Britain.

"This is going to be a quite remarkable legacy," Mr Livingstone said.

Ms Jowell earlier told BBC News that the work so far was being done on time.

Everything is being done, not just with the 60 days of the Olympic Games in mind, but to the legacy for what is one of the poorest parts of London

Ms Jowell said 7.5 miles (12km) of tunnels were "virtually complete" which would ensure that power lines could be hidden underground.

"Over 15 to 20 years, we will have a small town the size of Exeter on the site.

"Everything is being done, not just with the 60 days of the Olympic Games in mind, but to the legacy for what is one of the poorest parts of London."

The site of the Olympic Park in Stratford, London

Ms Jowell also put the difference between the initial 2.5bn cost of the Olympic park and the current 3.1bn estimate down to the cost of regenerating the east London site.

Last week was a difficult one for the organisers, who faced widespread criticism after unveiling a 400,000 graffiti-style logo.

Some 50,000 people signed an online petition calling for it to be scrapped.

However, Lord Coe, Ms Jowell and Mr Livingstone agreed it was here to stay.


"It is not the meaning of life or a secret code that will identify the bloodline of Mary Magdalene. It is a logo that will grow on you," said London's Mayor.

He has however called for the payment of the designers of the controversial promotional video to be withheld.

Asked if they would be paid, Lord Coe told BBC News 24: "You don't make those judgements until you have understood exactly what the issue was and how it happened."

The IOC signed off the logo in February but it will be discussed at a presentation on Wednesday, Lord Coe added.

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