DD2271 Crowd Dynamics Study for Major London Event

Type of decision: 
Director's decision
Date signed: 
20 August 2018
Decision by: 

Executive summary

During the planning phase of a major event that will take place in central London we have developed concerns that there could be significant crowding issues. To best avoid and plan we would like to commission a crowd dynamics study that would monitor and assess the risks of key viewing areas and spaces along with walking routes and crowd pinch points to ensure safety of visitors and members of the public throughout the duration of the event.


That the Executive Director of Communities and Intelligence approves:

1. Expenditure of up to a maximum of £150,000 across a period of six months to pay for an externally commissioned crowd dynamics and visitor study (and an annual review, if required) for the event in question; and

2. Seek and accept and use any additional income from suitable agencies, without the need for a further decision form to;

• Contribute to the costs of the study which will reduce the GLA’s net expenditure; and
• Support an increase of the scope of the study should it be required and the cost is in excess of £150,000 .

Part 1: Non-confidential facts and advice

Introduction and background

The City Operations and Events team are working towards the planning of a major event that will take place in central London. The crowds that will be drawn to this event may be unprecedented for an event in Central London.

We agree with all agencies involved that an external study would be beneficial to the project so that more detailed, transport, crowd management and contingency plans can be put in place to ensure the safety of visitors to the event and members of the public.

Information included in this study has been pulled together by the crowd dynamics and visitor working group that is supporting the delivery of the event. This information will be provided to TfL to enter into a competitive procurement process to allocate the work.

Objectives and expected outcomes


Analyse the capacities of event site spaces along with developing an understanding of landowner vs event owner and requirements associated.

As a priority review proposed walking routes and make recommendations as to people movement strategies i.e. when sites are close to capacity and closed.

This should take into consideration:

• Capacities of the walking routes
• Positioning of crowd control barriers and the impact.
• An analysis of major work schemes in and around the area
• Impact of other events and weather on both venues/spaces and crowds

Produce a crowd model illustrating the impact of crowds to and from transport hubs on each day of the event.

Expected Outcomes:

• Produce a decision matrix for crowd dynamics to support agencies.
• Produce a risk/congestion (heat / density) map.
• Produce a map detailing land and event owners
• Produce a report based on all aims and objectives detailed in the tender.
• Provide a list of each location, route capacity and alternative contingency locations.
• Run a workshop to work through findings and recommendations for a final report.

Equality comments

This study will look at all event spaces and access points ensuring that majority of routes are accessible for disabled members of the public and visitors. Spaces that are not accessible will be clearly signposted to ensure a good visitor experience.

This event is open to all who wish to attend, however there may be some restrictions to certain areas if crowds are too large and the space deemed unsafe to allow any more people access.

There are no other restrictions on this study that could impact any other area.

Other considerations

There is a significant risk to the running of business as usual for London during this event if this study is not completed prior to the event taking place.

There is a significant risk to the transport network with delays and overcrowding due to the volume of people should there not be clearly mapped out and planned walking routes and contingency plans in place.

Financial comments

Approval is being sought for expenditure of up to £150,000 to commission a crowd dynamics study for the Major London Event.

Should any income materialise this will be offset against the expenditure, or support the increase of the scope of the study should it be required.

The expenditure will be funded from the Major Events reserve.

Planned delivery approach and next steps

The below table is an outline of the timelines that the study will take in principle, the tender will be sought through the TfL procurement system and will be a closed competitive process. Whereby five companies have already been sought.

Activity table



Procurement of contract

Aug 2018


Sept 2018

Delivery Start Date

Sept 2018

Final evaluation start and finish (self/external)

February 2019

Delivery End Date

March 2019

Project Closure:

March 2019

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