Geoff's linking The O2 to London

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He's the man responsible for guiding the world to an arena largely surrounded by water - and getting them home again.

Geoff Symonds helped write the planning application for The O2 as a consultant, and has been AEG Europe's head of transport strategy for more than two years.

He said: "It's really been about promotion. There are a lot of options here in terms of transport."

Over the last few years, AEG has invested in the river through the Thames Clippers and is a key stakeholder in transport discussions about Greenwich Peninsula.

This became particularly important last summer, while journeys were disrupted by Jubilee line weekend works. A Clipper shuttle service between East India pier and North Greenwich's QEII pier shifted crowds to and from the arena, and AEG pushed to prevent the North Greenwich bus station from closing at the same time.

The terminal closed for its belated refurbishment a month ago, with work due to be completed on March 15.

Geoff said: "The work was originally going to be undertaken in summer last year, but that was a busy time for us so we lobbied hard to move it to a less hectic period.

"It's not ideal but they need to do their work and we need to work with them.

"We're a key player in the peninsula so we're fully consulted on maintenance by London Underground and I hold a bi-monthly transport forum so other stakeholders are kept informed."

Access to The O2 has become a key selling point for the Clippers over the last two years, with marketeers promoting the joys of a leisurely drink on the way to a show.

Geoff said: "This has all helped to increase the awareness of the river. It has benefits for the whole of London, not just commuters. The fact is the river is in the press a lot more and people know where the piers are."

Geoff hopes the service will also increase its status as a cross-river outlet.

He said: "Transport for London and London Underground are looking to reduce 'short hops' on the Tube. If you can make the East India link permanent, and have a cross-river service doing that, it would help greatly."

Geoff believes greater provision of piers can be secured through the Mayor's River Concordat, which commits to closer links between pier owners, councils, TfL and boat operators. He added that a greater subsidy should be pumped into the river, bringing the 14p per passenger trip closer to the £1.10 for the Tube or £1.60 for the DLR.

However, the river isn't the only way out of The O2, and more gig-goers will soon be drifting off in the direction of Greenwich Peninsula.

He said: "We're looking at the Greenwich Peninsula Bus Strategy with London Buses and Greenwich Council. As the peninsula develops, we're going to need extra capacity and new routes.

"It's all about providing choice."

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