Olympic VIPs to get their own lane on London roads in 2012August 8, 2010
London drivers have been hyperventilating more than usual about our roads, as plans for a VIP lane for athletes and other dignitaries were revealed last week as part of the preparations for our esteemed Olympics in 2012. It’s called the Olympic Route Network (ORN) to give it the proper name. There’s also the Paralympic Route Network (PRN). Priority access to our roads between venues will be given to these people to make sure they arrive on time, quite rightly in the case of the athletes. In the meantime, the rest of us in Londinium, who are paying, according to our previous Mayor Ken Livingstone, the equivalent of a Walnut whip every week for this Olympics (and at £9bn worth every penny), will endure restrictions and diversions, with the threat of fines for infringements.
Motoring organisations are not happy about this, as you’d expect. Edmund King, president of the AA said that drivers would not only be inconvenienced, but will have fewer routes to use. They’ll have to drive the longer way round, taking more time and using more fuel. I can testify as a car passenger that anyone using the A13 going towards the Blackwall tunnel prepares to be stuck in traffic for a very long time. As that is to be one of the designated routes, I can see fun times ahead. You could read a book, or do Sudoku I suppose.
A village has been specially built in the Stratford area for the purpose of housing athletes, so I’m wondering how many are actually going to be there if athletes still need to be ferried across to the venues. Does this mean those lanes are mainly for the sponsors, officials and media who will be holed up in hotels in Park Lane, the opposite end of where most of the events will be held? What total and utter nonsense. I think in the spirit of the austerity measures that we, the great unwashed will have to bear, the ‘special ones’ should spend time at the various budget hotels dotted around the East of London. If they really insist on comfort, The Four Seasons in Canary Wharf and The Hilton in South Quay would be more than adequate. But I guess that would be too much like: A) Common sense, and: B) A restriction on the profligate jamborees, which they have come to enjoy.