London

'Games Lanes' for athletes at 2012 London Olympics

Special "Games Lanes" will be created on key roads to help get athletes and officials to and from Olympic venues.

The lanes will be in areas including around Wembley Stadium, through central London, out to the main Games site at Stratford and also to Greenwich.

The 60 miles of lanes will be in addition to the Olympic Route Network (ORN) which will be roadwork-free and cover 2.5% of the capital's roads.

The ORN will be used by 82,000 people and cost about £25m.

The lanes will total nearly 60 miles in length, while the ORN, which will include measures such as closing side roads, banning turns and altering traffic light sequences, will comprise of more than 100 miles in London and about 170 miles outside London.

The ORN will be used by 18,000 athletes and officials during the Olympics as well as 6,000 during the Paralympics.

Among those also eligible to use the ORN will be judges, referees and umpires, about 28,000 representatives of the media and 25,000 sponsors and their guests.

The special lanes will be located in one or both directions and a decision on which lane is used - offside, middle or nearside - will depend on the road layout.

Most will be on the offside, as experiences of special lanes in previous Games have shown this is the least disruptive option.

It is proposed that anyone illegally driving or parking on the ORN, which will be monitored by CCTV cameras, will be fined £200, with a 50% discount for those paying promptly.

The ORN will also include roads in Weymouth and Portland in Dorset where the sailing events take place; roads at Eton Dorney on the Buckinghamshire/Berkshire border where the rowing is being held; and at Hadleigh Farm in Essex, the venue for the cycling.

John Armitt, chairman of the Olympic Delivery Association, said: "Where Games Lanes are required there will inevitably be some temporary disruption to everyday life, but we must give athletes the best chance to train and compete effectively.

"That means ensuring they get to their events on time and minimising the time they spend travelling."

Sport and Olympics minister Hugh Robertson said: "Make no mistake - this is absolutely critical to a successful Games and, without it, we will not be able to move around athletes, officials and the media with the necessary degree of certainty."

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