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2012 Lives: Rambler's more 'considered' view of changes

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2012 Lives: 'clinical footpaths'

A member of The Ramblers Greater London Forum admits his views of Olympic developments have eased over the last few years.

Len Banister, who lives in Waltham Forest, regularly walked around areas now being developed ahead of 2012.

"When the Games were given to London I was very enthusiastic, but as a walker I was very concerned when paths around the site began to be shut.

Investment

"I guess my feeling now is a bit more considered," said Len, "I appreciate works have to be carried out and safety is important.

The Olympic Park will open up over 15 kilometres of pedestrian routes, including paths along 5km of restored rivers that have been hidden for decades.

The Olympic Delivery Authority (ODA) is investing £10 million in, for and after the Games so that around 10,000 spectators walk all the way to their 2012 venue.

More than 3,300 seats and 250 benches will be build to ensure you're never more than 50m from a seat on the park.

Len, who has written books on walking routes, hopes that areas do not become too 'clinical' - as he says ramblers like areas to be as close to nature as possible.

"I am concerned that some areas are sometimes being overdeveloped.

"We could lose some of the character of the footpaths we've had in the past," he said, "so I would ask planners to be very careful not to over-sanitise our walking areas in the future."

Len is a contributor to BBC London's "2012 Lives" project. He's one of a number of people who will tell their own stories of how the 2012 Olympics is affecting their lives in the build up to the Games.




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