Surely every Olympics has its bête noire? With Beijing it was air pollution, Athens it was getting the stadia ready; with London it looked like it was going to be public transport but at the last minute, that plucky outsider, the M4, has come up the inside and is threatening to spoil the party.
Yes, the stretch of the M4 between junctions two and three didn’t open this morning as originally planned. The motorway has been closed because of cracks in a viaduct and the repair job is proving slower and trickier than first thought. The crack is being covered by four steel sheets, held in place by 102 bolts and current estimates say it should be open by at least Monday – though the Evening Standard quotes someone from the Highways Agency as saying
There is every chance the crack could grow.
Oops. Apparently the drilling may be causing further problems.
The M4 is meant to be the major route into London from Heathrow during the Olympics and with athletes starting to arrive from this weekend, shuttling them round the capital’s A roads instead of sweeping them through the Olympic Route Network will cause some red faces at LOCOG. The BBC’s Tom Edwards has been looking into what Plan B might be if the repairs aren’t finished in time, and TfL confirm they’re looking at using the A40, A4, A30 and Heathrow Express.