We can fit Olympic Lanes into London’s Roads

Olympic Lanes have been popping up all over London, the aim is for them to get Olympic officials and athletes across London in a timely fashion. To do this they have taken away road space from other road users and created lanes which only Olympic vehicles can use.

TFL are advising people to avoid using the roads in London throughout the Olympics due to the expected congestion.

We can somehow take away road space for these olympic lanes but we can’t take away road space for cycle lanes. As was pointed out on As Easy As Riding A Bike, the physical constraints of London’s roads are few and far between.

I was confused by the actions of Boris Johnson in early 2011 when he completed removed a huge section of the congestion charge zone. I would have thought the sensible action would be to increase it, to dissuade people from using private 4 wheeled vehicles in the capital.

If we make driving in London undesirable by making it slow, have less space and expensive. Then we can improve the quality of London for everyone. There will be less traffic, less pollution and fewer people injured. However I fear it is not going to be that simple, this sort of change will require a huge overhaul in the thinking of TFL and Londoners.

3 thoughts on “We can fit Olympic Lanes into London’s Roads

  1. Sounds like this will be a good case study to show there is in fact space! We had an Olympic lane network for vancouver 2010 as well, and there were predictions of doom and gloom for traffic chaos, but when the games came, the traffic chaos never happened, and this has been one argument in favour of us demolishing the only piece of urban freeway built here, a several hundred meter long viaduct into downtown. Expect the pushback against this argument, as it is here, to be that the Olympics times are not a useful case study in traffic demand due to increased people taking holiday from work to avoid assumed traffic disruptions.

  2. Re Londoners attitudes:

    Someone was enquiring how get from here (near Croydon) to Gatwick across one of the Torch routes. I suggested using the train instead. Faster, cheaper and more relaxed. It was if I had said a dirty word.

  3. From a cycling campaigner’s point of view, the Olympics have ‘missed a trick’.

    Whilst there is a general feeling that some of the increased journeys in Central London could be made by bike, there is very little in the way of active encouragement. Where are the daily feeder rides in to the Olympic sites? Where are the concessions being made to those who decide to cycle instead of taking public transport? Where are the adverts telling people cycling is the best way to get around during the games? . The most the‘Get ahead of the olympics’ website says is ‘cycling may be an option’.

    Is there a campaign to turn the Olympic lanes in to cycle lanes after the Olympics? If not, why not? As you suggest – during the next 8 weeks it’ll be shown that we can get by with one lane being ‘wasted’ to ensure Olympic competitors, media and other individuals, can get to their events ok. A few small adjustments to the Olympic lane would be all that was needed: https://fbcdn-sphotos-a.akamaihd.net/hphotos-ak-ash3/179119_937530854096_1747102097_n.jpg

    The way I see it – we have 8 weeks to tell the mayor not to revert the Olympic lanes to normal roads, but instead turn them (or an alternative lane) in to a cycle path. Unfortunately I don’t have enough gravitas to do that.

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