Drivers told to ‘stay away’ from London during summer Olympics

CHANGES to London’s road network to cope with this summer’s Olympic and Paralympic Games will start on July 1

However, operation and enforcement of the Olympic Road Network, including the Games Lanes, will not begin until Wednesday, July 25, a couple of days before the Opening Ceremony of the Olympic Games on Friday, July 27.


It will end operation a couple of days after the Games conclude on August 12 and will not be in operation between the Olympics and Paralympics.


The smaller Paralympic Route Network will also come into operation just a couple of days before the Paralympic Games open on August 29 and continue until just after they end on September 9. Once Games events are completed at a venue, such asWimbledon, the Olympic Road Network will be removed.


The road restrictions and the likelihood of widespread congestion has led toLondon’s Transport Commissioner Peter Hendy telling drivers to stay away from the capital.


He said: ‘Our advice to motorists is clear. From mid-July, avoid driving in centralLondon, around the Olympic Road Network and Games venues.’


Motorists should also avoid the areas around the road event courses on competition days, such as the Cycling Road Races on July 28 and 29, as well as the Cycle Time Trial on August 1.


The organisation added: ‘Every day of the Games is different, so if you must drive, plan ahead and allow more time.’


The Olympic Road Network is a 109-mile network of roads linking Games venues on 1% of the capital’s roads, which is being prepared to ensure all athletes, officials and the world’s media get to their Games events on time.


All motorists can use the Olympic Road Network, and 30 miles of it will include Games Lanes, alongside lanes for general traffic, available only to vehicles carrying the ‘Games Family’ – the athletes, officials, media and some sponsors.


Operation and enforcement of the Olympic Road Network, including the Games Lanes, will begin on Wednesday, July 25. The Olympic Road Network and the Games Lanes will be in operation and will be enforced from6amtomidnightdaily.


From Saturday, July 7 traffic flow in Kingsway Tunnel, Aldwych, will be reversed. Traffic through the tunnel will temporarily flow southbound only. The temporary reversal will be removed in mid-August after the Olympic Games, and is not required for the Paralympic Games. The M4 Games Lane will come into operation from July 16.


However, ahead of the start of operation and enforcement of the Olympic Road Network, a large programme of temporary changes to the road network need to be implemented.


Due to the scale of the physical preparatory works, and in order to carry them out safely and with minimal disruption to local residents and road users, they will be carried out over four nights from the weekend before the Games begin.


But, ahead of then, from Sunday, July 1 road markings will start to be put down along the Olympic Road Network but they will not change the operation of the roads.


Adjustments to over 1,300 sets of traffic signals will begin from the same date. Transport forLondonsaid adjustments would have minimal impact on road users as they would be balanced out by the complete ban on all planned road works along the Olympic Road Network and on all A and B roads.


The physical changes along the Olympic Road Network, including installing temporary traffic islands and barriers to simplify junctions will be completed before the torch relay arrives and centralLondonbecomes a massive sporting and cultural venue.


To keep impact to a minimum the programme of physical works is being carried out over only four nights, beginning at9pmon Friday, July 20 and finishing the morning of Wednesday, July 25, when the Olympic Road Network begins operation and enforcement.


The Olympic Road Network also extends out ofLondonto other London 2012 venues in the south ofEngland. These routes are being delivered by the Olympic Delivery Authority in partnership with the respective local highway authorities.


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