Reasons to demonstrate on July 28; number 6: Olympic public announcements


Lords Cricket Ground is nowhere near Kings Cross. There’s no good reason why every road sign on the Kingsway should have a further sign on its back too (saying “plan ahead” and advertising the GeatAhead2012 website)

The advice itself is no better than its publicity.

“Try changing your route”. Well, I live on the border of zone 1 and 2 and both the nearest, and the second-nearest, tube stations to my home are designated travel hotspots. I work out of offices right on top of Holborn station, which is where the Piccadilly line intersects with the Central line (i.e. the main line heading east towards Stratford). There will be no point trying to get to work by tube for the duration of the Games – I understand and accept that. But what other route can I follow? Crossing Euston Road by bike will be a nightmare. Kingsway itself is on the Olympic Route Network; and mid-way along it is Russell Square, the intended home of most of the world’s media. The road itself is likely to be too busy for either a bus or a bike to do any good. Even walking will be seriously disrupted by sharing the pavement with several hundred journalists.

“Try changing your route” is at the same time both obvious and inadequate. And what’s true for me is going to be equally true for anyone who crosses at any point in their daily commute Waterloo, Victoria, Kings Cross, Oxford Circus or London Bridge.

Condescending as they are, none of these are as bad as the sound of Boris Johnson’s voice being piped through the London Underground urging me to check these same banal websites with no useful information. I didn’t vote Boris; I (along with around one in three Londoners) detest him, his party and his friends. Hearing him on my commute, and being unable to “switch him off” – makes me feel like my city is under hostile occupation. And in a way it is; so long as the enemy is properly understood, not as some foreigner but as the native rich. It’s yet another reason to be protesting on July 28:


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