The London Organisers are, as ever, upbeat: “Seventy per cent of road journeys in London will be unaffected by the Games and there will be a ban on planned roadworks during the Games period. However, at certain times and in certain locations in London, roads will be affected by Games operations or by the traffic displaced by Games operations.”
It’s not the roads that trouble me.
Like most people who live in zone 1 or 2, I don’t own my own car, but am dependent on public transport. To make matters worse, my job is itself peripatetic: in a typical day, I may travel to courts anywhere in inner or outer London – I have to use all the main tube routes, and (as court days are shifted) I often find myself in a different part of London at 10am one morning, to where I had expected to be when I first looked at my diary at 4pm the day before. If (say) the central line is rendered inoperative for the three weeks of the Olympics, and if I am booked to attend court in Stratford I won’t even have the fall-back of a bus (which will no doubt be equally busy).
Every day, I spent at least some time in Kings Cross, every day I spend at least some time in Holborn. But not, I can see, during the Olympics.
Friends are already telling me that the British Library is opening and closing late during the Olympics; and that TFL are advising companies in the vicinity of Euston Square that journeys which are ordinarily scheduled to last just 30 minutes will take 2 hours during the Olympic period.
It wouldn’t be so bad if we were genuinely “all in this together”, but of course 4000 Olympic dignatories, politicians, lawyers, and sponsors will have access to a special road network intended to get them quickly from press events to corporate jamboree to diplomatic receptions in the broad vicinity of the Games.
Their speed will only be made possible by delaying the rest of us.
Finally some maps:
Interactive maps for anticipated disruption to (1) London roads, (2) London public transport, and (3) outside London below:
And here’s an image of the Olympic Route Network itself