Residents in Wapping could find themselves stranded after it emerged that traffic restrictions and VIP lanes effectively cut them off for 100 days.
The lanes, which you can see on a map here, cover 56 miles of the capital’s roads and are reserved solely for the use of the Olympic Family (is it just us or is that tag rather cringe-inducing and infantile?). Anyone else straying into them will get a £200 fine, a sum already described as ‘draconian’ by a member of the London Assembly’s transport committee. And we can be sure that those restrictions will be rigorously enforced.
It’s the restrictions on roads which share the lanes that seem really pernicious, though. In some already heavily congested areas, these are likely to cause major problems for residents. The What’s In Wapping website gives a pretty good overview of some of the issues they’re facing, which they claim TfL has not addressed or planned for, namely:
- Lack of clarity around which routes will be open.
- Alternative routes pushing extra traffic onto the gridlocked A12 and A13.
- Jams on the Highway caused by alternative routes using the Tower Bridge junction.
- Redirection of bus routes which have not been clearly defined.
- Closure of pedestrian crossings on the Highway.
Vickie Flores, who runs What’s In Wapping, says: ‘I was excited when London won the Olympics, but the Games are going to be incredibly disruptive. For some people it is going to turn Wapping into an island. With buses being rerouted, people are going to be isolated.’
We all knew that travel around the city, which even on a normal day can be brought to a grinding halt by a relatively minor incident (or the RMT), during the Olympics would be more difficult. But is it really fair on residents to impose restrictions such as those at Wapping, which will greatly affect daily life?
It’s not just car drivers either; black cabbies are threatening a blockade of central London over their exclusion from the Olympic lanes. Cyclists are also excluded and have criticised the Olympic Delivery Authority (ODA) over lack of provision for them. And pedestrians will lose 51 crossings.
How will traffic restrictions and Olympic lanes affect your travel around London? Tell us in the comments.