M4 Still Closed As Alternative Olympic Routes Investigated

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.

Photo of the deserted M4 yesterday by IanVisits from the Londonist Flickr pool

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  • CanAmSteve

    The Heathrow Express? Deliver them into that hellhole which is Paddington Under Crossrail? Truck them up the slip road past the fag hounds and the delivery trucks? Charming. Welcome to London – the city where nothing ever joins up.

    • http://twitter.com/ShannonMCoachma Shannon M. Coachman

      that plucky outsider, the M4, has come up the inside and is threatening to spoil the party. http://MayorMoney.blogspot.com

  • http://www.karimium.com/ Karim

    being an east londoner I can’t wait for the event to finish so we can have the roads back and get on with our lives, I can imagine how hectic it’s going to be when the Olympics are in full swing because olympic lanes had to be repainted prior to the olympics and we saw several dual carriageway lane closures and it took it’s toll on road users in East London.

    Nobody is looking forward tob the Olympics everyone I spoke to would prefer if the Olympics were hosted in another city somewhere up North or a different country altogether.