House of Commons - Explanatory Note
House of Commons
Session 2005 - 06
Publications on the internet
Other Bills before Parliament
Arrangement of Clauses (Contents)

London Olympics Bill


These notes refer to the London Olympics Bill as introduced in the House of Commons on 14th July 2005 [Bill 45]




1.     These explanatory notes relate to the London Olympics Bill as introduced in the House of Commons on 14 July 2005. They have been prepared by the Department for Culture, Media and Sport in order to assist the reader of the Bill and help inform debate on it. They do not form part of the Bill and have not been endorsed by Parliament.

2.     These notes need to be read in conjunction with the Bill. They are not, and are not meant to be, a comprehensive description of the Bill. So where a clause or a part of a clause does not seem to require any explanation or comment, none is given.


3.     The Bill gives effect to the commitments made by the Government as part of London's bid to host the 2012 Olympic and Paralympic Games. It provides for the statutory remit of the public bodies which will be tasked with delivering the Games. In particular, it sets up the Olympic Delivery Authority to deliver public sector obligations for the Games, principally the necessary venues and infrastructure. The Bill also provides the legislative framework needed to enable the UK to fulfil the requirements which the International Olympic Committee place on host cities.

4.     The main measures of the Bill provide for:

  • The establishment of the Olympic Delivery Authority, its powers, duties and functions;

  • The delivery of transport needs for the Games, including the necessary preparations in the lead up to 2012;

[Bill 45—EN]     54/1

  • Controls of marketing in connection with the Olympic Games, including the protection of Olympic intellectual property, restrictions on commercial association with the Games, the prohibition of street trading and outdoor advertising in the vicinity of Olympic venues and of ticket touting in connection with Olympic events;

  • The Mayor of London's power to prepare for and stage the Olympic Games;

  • The amendment of the purposes of regional development agencies to include the purpose of preparing for the London Olympics.


5.     On 15 May 2003, the Government announced its intention to support a bid to stage the 2012 Olympic and Paralympic Games in London. Two months later the British Olympic Association officially notified the International Olympic Committee that London would bid to stage the 2012 Olympics. The bid had three main stakeholders - Government, the Mayor of London and the British Olympic Association - who together established the bid company 'London 2012' to take forward the bid on their behalf. The Mayor and Government agreed a Memorandum of Understanding setting out how a Games in London would be funded in May 2003. This provided for contributions to be made from London council tax receipts and from lottery funds. In order to provide a new Olympic-specific lottery game, legislation was required. This was provided in the Horserace Betting and Olympic Lottery Act 2004.

6.     In total, nine cities submitted bids to host the 2012 Games: London, New York, Paris, Madrid, Moscow, Leipzig, Istanbul, Rio de Janeiro and Havana. In May 2004 the IOC cut down the shortlist to five 'candidate' cities - London, Paris, Moscow, Madrid and New York. On 15 November 2004 London submitted its proposals to the IOC for a London Games (the Candidature File). The Candidature File sets out, for example, information on the venues, transport, Games schedule and financing of a London Games.

7.     On 6 July 2005 the IOC announced that it had selected London to host the 2012 Olympic and Paralympic Games. On being awarded the Games, the city is immediately required to enter into the 'Host City Contract'. This contract covers the obligations of the parties to that contract, which include fulfilling all commitments made in the bidding process, and IOC requirements relating to the Games, the majority of which are set out in the IOC's Technical Manuals. Immediately after London was announced Host City for the 2012 Games, the Mayor of London (on behalf of the city) and the British Olympic Association signed the Host City Contract with the IOC.


8.     The clauses are set out under the following headings:

1. Introductory

2. The Olympic Delivery Authority

3. Transport

4. Advertising

5. Trading

6. Miscellaneous

7. General


9.     The Bill extends to the whole of the UK except for clauses 5 (Planning), 6(2) and 6(4) (Street Lighting and Cleaning), 8 to 16 (Transport) and 32 and 33, relating to the Greater London Authority, which extend to England and Wales only, although they will only have territorial application to England. Clause 34 amends the Regional Development Agencies Act 1998 which extends to England and Wales only. The Act confers some regulation and order-making functions on the National Assembly for Wales and the Scottish Parliament in relation to advertising and trading restrictions as they are to be applied to venues in Wales and Scotland which will stage Olympic events.



Clauses 1 and 2: Interpretation of principal terms and Alteration of Olympic documents

10.     Clause 1 sets out the interpretation and definition of the principal terms in the Bill. In particular the term 'London Olympics' includes events which are held outside London as part of the Games; it also includes certain events other than sporting events, such as the opening ceremony. Clause 2 enables the Secretary of State by order to amend the reference in the Bill to any document referred to in clause 1 (the Host City Contract and the Olympic Charter) if he thinks that the reference has ceased to be accurate by reason of the amendment or substitution of that document. The order, which is subject to the negative resolution procedure, may include consequential or incidental provision. The Secretary of State is required to consult the London Organising Committee of the Olympic Games Limited before he makes an order.


Clause 3: Establishment and Schedule 1: The Olympic Delivery Authority

11.     Clause 3 provides for the establishment of a body corporate to be known as the Olympic Delivery Authority ("the ODA"). Provision about the ODA is made in Schedule 1. The ODA is to have not fewer than 7 nor more than 11 members, who are to be appointed by the Secretary of State. The Secretary of State shall appoint one of the members as Chairman. The Secretary of State must consult the Mayor of London before appointing the Chairman and other Board members.

12.     Schedule 1 makes further provision for the constitution of the ODA, including the tenure of members and the appointment of staff and committees. Part 2 of Schedule 1 provides for the proceedings of the ODA, which is to be able to delegate its functions but those functions are to be exercised having regard to any guidance of the Secretary of State and in compliance with any direction given by him. Before giving a direction the Secretary of State is required to consult the ODA and the Mayor unless this is impracticable because of urgency. Before giving guidance or a direction which the Secretary of State thinks may affect Scotland otherwise than in respect of a reserved matter, the Secretary of State shall consult the Scottish ministers. Part 3 makes provision in relation to money, including financial assistance to be given by the Secretary of State, borrowing arrangements, the remuneration of members and staff and the keeping of accounts.

Clause 4: General functions

13.     Clause 4 sets out the functions of the ODA. Those functions are to do anything necessary for the purpose of:

  • preparing for the London Olympics,

  • making arrangements in preparation for or in connection with the use or management before, during or after the Games of premises and facilities acquired, constructed or adapted in preparation for the Games, or

  • ensuring that adequate arrangements are made for the provision, management and control of facilities for transport in connection with the Games.

14.     Particulars of those functions are set out in subsection (2). The ODA's functions include acquiring land (with the consent of the Secretary of State on the basis of the compensation package which would be payable if the land were being acquired compulsorily by an authority empowered to exercise such powers) and disposing of land (which with the consent of the Secretary of State may be at less than might be expected in a commercial transaction). The ODA can also apply for, or undertake work in connection with applications for, planning permission, make arrangements for the construction of premises and facilities and functions in relation to utilities, highways, transport systems and facilities. The ODA is enabled to form bodies corporate and to acquire interests in such bodies or in other undertakings.

15.     In exercising its functions under this clause, the ODA shall, where relevant, have regard to maximising the benefits to be derived after the Games from things done in preparation for them, and contribute to achieving sustainable development.

Clause 5: Planning

16.     This clause enables the Secretary of State by order to appoint the ODA as the local planning authority for an area specified in that order. It does so by adopting the model provided for urban development corporations, set out in section 149 of, and Schedule 29 to, the Local Government and Land Act 1980.

17.     Subsection (4) provides that the Mayor of London may direct the ODA to refuse an application for planning permission in a specified case.

18.     In discharging its functions as a local planning authority, Subsection (5) requires the ODA to have regard to the need to prepare properly for the 2012 Games and, in that preparation, to seek to maximise the benefits to be derived from the preparations for the Olympics over the longer-term. The ODA should also have regard to the existing framework of plans, in particular any planning permissions already granted in connection with the London Olympics, any guidance issued by the Secretary of State and to the development plan for any area for which the ODA is made the local planning authority.

19.     Subsection (6) includes provision for the Secretary of State, in making an order which revokes a previous order establishing the ODA as a local planning authority, to specify which authority is to become the local planning authority in place of the ODA.

20.     Given that the ODA will in most cases be the applicant for planning permission, the ODA's development control powers will be exercised by a separate committee. Provision for the formation of committees within the ODA is made in Schedule 1 Paragraph 9. In order to avoid any conflict of interests, anyone who is involved in the exercise of the ODA's functions in relation to land may not participate in deliberations or decisions of the ODA acting as a local planning authority in relation to that land (Schedule 1 Paragraph 19).

Clause 6: Street lighting and cleaning

21.     This clause enables the Olympic Delivery Authority to take action with regard to the cleaning or lighting of specified areas during the London Olympics period.

22.     The Olympic Delivery Authority may arrange with the authorities responsible for cleaning or lighting a highway or other area to which this clause applies for cleaning or lighting to be carried out in a specified way or to a specified standard during all or part of the London Olympics period. The Olympic Delivery Authority can pay authorities to carry out this work and the arrangements can set out what will happen if the authorities fail to deliver the services as agreed.

23.     Subsection (2) provides that if the Olympic Delivery Authority is not satisfied that an appropriate result can be or is being achieved through the arrangements it makes with the relevant authorities, it may make arrangements for cleaning or lighting the highways or other areas to which the clause applies during all or part of the London Olympics period. In doing so, the ODA can use installations which belong to the local authority such as streetlamps.

24.     This clause applies to any highway or other area to which the public have access which the Olympic Delivery Authority reasonably expect to be used:

  • In the course of a London Olympic event,

  • By persons watching a London Olympics event, or

  • By persons travelling to a London Olympic event.

Clause 7: Dissolution

25.     Clause 7(1) provides for the dissolution of the ODA by order made by the Secretary of State. Subsections (2) to (7) make further provision about the order. Under subsection (7) the order is to be made by statutory instrument and is not to be made unless a draft has been laid before Parliament.


Clause 8: Olympic Transport Plan

26.     The ODA will be required to prepare and keep under review an Olympic Transport Plan (OTP). The OTP will set out the transport plans for the Games and details of how they are to be implemented. The Bill requires the OTP to address a number of matters including, for example, the construction of transport facilities, transport arrangements to and from events, the Olympic Route Network, road closures and restrictions and guidance on implementation of the plan.

27.     When preparing for or revising the plan the ODA will be required to consult the bodies named on the face of the Bill. The consultee bodies are those who will be implementing the OTP or those whose remit may include matters to be addressed by the OTP. The ODA will also be required to have regard to the Mayor's transport, spatial development and economic development strategies, to ensure that transport arrangements within London in particular are in harmony and relevant bodies and authorities are not being asked to deliver conflicting plans. The OTP is to be published.

Clause 9: The Olympic Route Network

28.     The Olympic Route Network (ORN) will consist of roads within England that will be used for travel to and from events and venues. The Secretary of State will make the initial designation of the ORN and will be able to add to or amend the ORN. The ODA will also be able to add to or amend the ORN with the Secretary of State's consent. Designation will take the form of an order made by statutory instrument under the negative resolution procedure, and a road may only be designated after consultation with the relevant highway, street and traffic authorities. If an order is made which has the effect or removing a road from the ORN, the relevant authorities must be informed of the change.

Clause 10: Co-operation

29.     This clause allows the ODA to co-ordinate the delivery of the transport needs of the Games. It imposes an obligation on various authorities and bodies, all of whom will have been consulted in the preparation of the OTP, to co-operate with the ODA for the purpose of implementing the OTP and in particular providing or facilitating transport services in connection with the London Olympics; this would include reaction to situations and circumstances arising during the Games. The Mayor of London is also obliged to have regard to the OTP and to consult the ODA in updating his transport strategy (Subsection (7)).

30.     If a traffic, highway or street authority (other than the Secretary of State) fails to co-operate with the ODA as required under Subsection (1), then the Secretary of State may direct the body to exercise its functions in a particular manner for the purposes of implementing the Olympic Transport Plan or co-operating with the ODA in order to meet the transport needs of the Games. The power of direction may not be exercised over Transport for London unless the Mayor has been notified (Subsection (4)).

31.     In practice, it would be the ODA who would request the exercise of this power of direction, and an example of such a request might be to make a relevant traffic regulation order. If the authority still fails to comply, then the Secretary of State may exercise the function himself or make arrangements to have the function exercised by the ODA or any other person, and the authority in question may be required to reimburse the costs incurred in the exercise of the relevant function.

Clause 11: Functions affecting Olympics

32.     This clause gives the ODA a degree of 'negative control' over the roads for the purposes of the Games by requiring the ODA to be notified of the exercise of any highway, traffic or street functions (exercisable by an authority other than the Secretary of State) that might reasonably be expected to affect transport needs connected to the Games. Such functions may not be exercised without the consent of the ODA, unless thirty days have expired from making a notification to the ODA.

33.     If the ODA is not notified of functions as required under Subsection (1) and (2), it may take action to reverse or change the effect of the unauthorised action (Subsection (5)). In doing so, the ODA shall have all the powers of the person that failed to notify the ODA as required and may take the necessary action at the cost of that person.

34.     Subsection (3) allows the Secretary of State, by specifying relevant circumstances in an order, to set aside or vary the requirement to notify the ODA and seek its approval to the exercise of a highway, traffic or street function. For example, the order might allow emergencies or urgent works to be dealt with without the delay of seeking ODA approval. The order would be subject to the negative resolution procedure.

35.     Subsection (6) requires the Secretary of State to consult the ODA before exercising his powers of management of roads in the Royal Parks in a way that he thinks might affect transport needs connected to the Games.

36.     Subsection (7) relaxes the consultation requirements for the variation of bus schedules by Transport for London during the London Olympics period.

Clause 12: Traffic regulation orders

37.     Clause 12(1) enables the ODA to make traffic regulation orders over roads that are part of the Olympic Route Network (ORN). The ODA may only do so with the consent of the Secretary of State; further, the ODA may only make such an order for Olympic purposes (Subsection (2)). In practice, this clause will allow for the creation by the ODA of a unified system of traffic regulation across the ORN, including, for example, the use of Olympic lanes (which will facilitate the travel of athletes and other accredited persons between Olympic venues) and the imposition of parking and waiting restrictions. When making a traffic regulation order, the ODA has to comply with the same procedural requirements as Transport for London (subsection (3)).

38.     Subsection (4) allows traffic authorities to make traffic regulation orders for Olympic purposes over any road as needed; local traffic authorities may only make traffic regulation orders over roads which form part of the Olympic Route Network with the consent of the ODA (Subsection (5)). Subsection (6) sets aside for Olympic purposes certain restrictions that apply to traffic regulation orders, for example that they may not prevent access for vehicles of any class for more than 8 in any 24 hours.

Clause 13: Traffic regulation orders: enforcement

39.     This clause provides for the enforcement of traffic regulation orders made for Olympic purposes. Subsection (1) allows for infringements of traffic regulation orders made by the ODA over the ORN for the purposes of the Olympics to be punishable with an increased fine (i.e. a maximum of £5,000; the standard fine is a maximum of £1,000). However, it is expected that the Traffic Management Act 2004 will have been implemented before 2012 and Subsection (2) allows for the application of the civil enforcement regime to all Olympic traffic regulation orders. It will be the ODA that will set the level of charge for a contravention of traffic regulation orders made for the purposes of the Olympics (Subsection (3)); local authorities, and Transport for London, will remain the 'enforcement authority' for all other purposes.

40.     To ensure that the Olympic traffic regulation orders are enforced appropriately, Subsection (4) gives the Secretary of State a power of direction over enforcement authorities for Olympic purposes, though directions may not be given to Transport for London without the consent of the Mayor of London (Subsection (5)). If an enforcement authority does not comply with a direction by the Secretary of State, the ODA may 'step in' to exercise the relevant enforcement powers with the consent of the Secretary of State and the enforcement authority will bear the costs of the ODA doing so.

Clause 14: Road closures

41.     This clause amends for Olympic purposes the provisions relating to special events orders, under which roads may be restricted or closed in connection with sporting events, social events and entertainments. For example, a special event order may be made for Olympic purposes irrespective of whether the event in question is held on a road (Subsection (1)) and the restrictions that limit special events order to one a year and for a limit of three days are removed in respect of the Olympics (Subsection (2)).

Clause 15: Office of Rail Regulation

42.     The Office of Rail Regulation regulates Network Rail's stewardship of the national network, licenses operators of railway assets, approves agreements for access by operators to track, stations, and light maintenance depots, and enforces domestic competition law. Whilst the Office of Rail Regulation is not subject to the co-operation provisions in clause 10, this clause obliges the Office of Rail Regulation to assist in preparations for the Olympics and to consult the ODA as to how to do so.

Clause 16: Interpretation

43.     Clause 16 sets out the interpretation and definition of the principal terms in clauses 8 to 15.


Clause 17 Advertising regulations

44.     This clause imposes a duty on the Secretary of State to make regulations in order to control advertising in the vicinity of Olympic venues. These regulations are required in order to fulfil obligations imposed by the International Olympic Committee and made within the Host City Contract. In particular, the Contract requires that no advertising is placed outside Olympic venues so as to be within the view of television cameras covering, or spectators watching, Olympic events.

45.     The Secretary of State has broad discretion in the detail to be included in the regulations. The regulations will specify the nature and extent of these restrictions including the place, time period and type of advertisements to which the restrictions will apply. However, Subsection (6) provides that they will only apply for a period which the Secretary of State considers necessary to comply with the Host City Contract.

46.     Much of the detail of the restrictions has been left to secondary legislation in order to make a proper assessment of what is required closer to 2012: the IOC may change the requirements which are placed on host cities and venues may also change. The regulations may apply restrictions for different periods and in a different way for different venues. This will enable the characteristics of different venues and different events to be taken into account: for example, the intention is to restrict advertising around football venues for a limited period as some of those venues will only be used for a very short space of time. The regulations will also include exceptions. It is intended that these will follow exceptions provided in the regulations relating to the control of advertising under the Town and Country Planning Act (1990) as closely as possible.

47.     Subsection (7) allows for the authorisation of controlled advertising within the vicinity of Olympic venues. Regulations will allow the Secretary of State to authorise a "responsible body" such as the ODA or London Organising Committee for the Olympic Games (LOCOG), to undertake controlled advertising, and that responsible body will, in turn, be able to grant subsequent authorisations to other advertisers.

48.     Subsection (8) provides that the regulations may impose obligations on those who advertise or those who benefit from unauthorised advertising. Regulations may also impose duties on the owners and occupiers of land to ensure that unauthorised advertising - as specified in regulations - does not occur on their land. It allows for these regulations to supersede any previous permissions for the use of that land, for example permissions granted by local planning authorities under the Town and Country Planning Act (1990).

Clause 18 Regulations: supplemental

49.     Subsection (1) sets out in more detail what restrictions and flexibilities will apply to the making of regulations under clause 17. For example, the regulations may disapply existing legislation about the control of advertising. In order to ensure consistency with the advertising restrictions in the Town and Country Planning Act (1990), the regulations may apply to Crown bodies. Subsection (3) requires the Secretary of State to undertake consultation before making any regulations under clause 17.

50.     In accordance with Subsection (2) the regulations will be subject to the affirmative resolution procedure in Parliament. Subsection (4) prevents the regulations being subject to the process that is applied to affirmative hybrid instruments. Very broadly, a hybrid provision is one that has characteristics of both a public and a private provision.

contents continue
House of Commons home page Houses of Parliament home page House of Lords home page search Page enquiries index

© Parliamentary copyright 2005
Prepared: 19 July 2005