Does London need designated Games lanes to manage road traffic during the Olympics?


Gareth Emmerson

The Olympic Road Network (ORN) is a requirement of the Host City contract and is vital in ensuring all athletes, officials and the world’s media get to their London 2012 Games events on time. In total, the ORN covers 109 miles across London, although Games lanes will only be used on 30 miles of the network. With the athletes, coaches, technical officials and the world’s media now in London, roads are exceptionally busy and we are working hard to support a great Games and keep London moving. From 25 July the Games Lanes will be enforced and our message to motorists is clear – don’t get caught out, avoid driving in central London, around the ORN or around Games venues. But if a journey is absolutely essential, plan ahead – visit and allow extra time.

Gareth Emmerson is chief operating officer, surface transport, at Transport for London.


Charlie Mullins

The starting pistol has been fired on the first Olympic event, the insane dash to total gridlock. We’re pretty good at traffic jams in London on a normal day, but these Games lanes are about to transform doing business and commuting in the city to a gold medal-winning performance in masochism. Having lanes for Olympic VIPs will halve the capacity of key routes like Victoria Embankment and Knightsbridge, leaving firms like mine, with a fleet of more than 120 vehicles, to face weeks of major disruption. And we’re not the only ones this is going to affect. Businesses will watch their income drain away as they sit in jam after jam, as athletes and dignitaries cruise by. It’s easy to shut the roads for the greater good of the Olympics and offer advice not to drive in central London. It’s not so easy when you run a business that’s based on driving around the capital.

Charlie Mullins is an entrepreneur and founder of Pimlico Plumbers.