For those new to CabbieBlog or readers who are slightly forgetful, on Saturdays I’m republishing posts, many going back over a decade. Some will still be very relevant while others have become dated over time. Just think of this post as your weekend paper supplement.
Journey to the Mystic East (13.11.09)
“Olympic Route Network”, the phrase just conjures up a route for graceful athletics to compete on. The Greeks would have given the road from Marathon to Athens an appropriately romantic title.
As predicted by CabbieBlog priority lanes are proposed between the West End and Olympic Park.
The Olympic Committee has argued that the distance and time taken necessitates giving Olympic officials and organisers a dedicated priority lane on London’s already overcrowded roads.
So while anybody foolish enough to drive in London during the 2012 Olympics sits in a traffic jam, the Olympic Lane will be quieter than the London Mayor’s Cycle Fridays, which aimed at encouraging commuting by bike. Unfortunately some days only two bikers showed up at a cost of £68.80 each. Olympics officials wouldn’t get out of bed if a derisory amount like that was going to be wasted on them.
But the reason that the Olympic organisers are staying in the West End and not the myriad of decent hotels built in London’s Docklands is simple: Wives; their husbands idea of a perfect day might be to watch men throwing spears or hammers, but the wives want to shop. And while all the hotel chains have 5-star hotels near the Olympic Park there is no Harrods or Harvey Nichols.
While we are constantly being told that 2012 is going to be the greenest Olympics in history, its organisers intend to gridlock large parts of central London with stationery traffic pumping out high levels of fumes by taking away 50 per cent of the road capacity. And if you have the temerity to venture into these acres of empty tarmac you will get, courtesy of Transport for London a fine of £5,000.
All this to enable a favoured few to drive 16 miles every day back and forth to their hotels unimpeded.
As they say “it’s not the winning that counts, but the taking part”. Unless that is, you are trying to work in London to pay for their “taking part”.