London’s drivers risk incurring fines because of a lack of public awareness about special ‘Games lanes’ which will operate during the 2012 Olympics, reserving major routes exclusively for those connected with the Games.
The warning comes in a new report published by the London Assembly which highlights concerns about the Olympic Route Network which will see road lanes closed to non-Olympic traffic and unauthorised drivers who stray into them fined
London Assembly members from all parties have repeatedly called on the numbers of people using the lanes to be restricted to athletes and support staff with officials and other non-vital figures using public transport.
Despite undertakings from the Mayor and IOC President Jacques Rogge they would “would encourage members of the Games Family”, the report says “organisers have resisted calls to reduce the size of the Games family” who will be able to use the lanes.
With the Tube network is already currently operating and many Londoners likely to be unable to use their normal routes to get around, AMs have called for more forecasting of demand for public transport during the Games period and regular updates on what contingency arrangements are being put in place.
They have also called for more information about when 51 pedestrian crossings due to be removed as part of the Olympic Route Network will be reinstated once the Games have finished.
Val Shawcross, Chair of the London Assembly Transport Committee, said: “In 2012 London is facing extreme demand placed on a network already creaking at the seams. This is not just about spectators and visitors being able to get to and from events, Londoners will need to go about their everyday business too.
“We are reassured that what can be planned for is being planned for but there is no doubt transport conditions will be extreme in 2012. It’s better to be safe than sorry and the more detailed plans are, the more likely London’s transport network will cope.”
The report, Clearing the hurdles, can be downloaded from london.gov.uk