Reality dawns for London's Olympic motorists

Games Lane sign Transport for London called the Games the 'biggest logistical operation in a generation'

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The reality is beginning to dawn on Londoners as more information is published on what to expect during the Olympic Games.

The latest briefing is on road travel. Drivers are being told to avoid central London from 14 July - two weeks before the Games start.

This is a similar stark message to the one during the Queen's Diamond Jubilee which worked and kept the roads clear, albeit for one day.

Much of this is a result of introducing the Olympic Route Network (ORN) and, in particular, the Games Lanes quite late in the day.

They will not be "turned on" until Wednesday 25 July - two days before the Games' opening ceremony.

That was a decision taken by the Mayor Boris Johnson and the fallout from that is that transport bosses have to create capacity.

Beijing had its lanes up and running weeks before the Olympic began.

In London, there will be a reliance on the goodwill of Londoners, but during the Vancouver Winter Olympics in 2010 they called it the Big Scare Tactics.

London 2012 - One extraordinary year

London 2012 One extraordinary year graphic

It worked for a few days and then congestion and commuter numbers crept back up.

It is also beginning to emerge just how big a job building the ORN is.

Half of all white line machines in the UK will be in the capital the weekend before the Games.

Londoners are absolutely crucial to the transport plan. Without us changing our working patterns and routes, the queues, the congestion and the cramped conditions will be much much worse.

So will it work ? Will you change your habits?

Tom Edwards Article written by Tom Edwards Tom Edwards Transport correspondent, London

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    Comment number 1.

    I have heard that the emergency services have been told not to use sirens around Olympic sites so as not to put the athletes off, is there any truth in this? If true, this could be problem at Woolwich where the shooting range on the Common is near to the Queen Elizabeth Hospital A&E Dept which will be affected by road closures.



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