Transport for London (TfL) has set out the detailed plans for implementation and operation of the Olympic Route Network (ORN) and provided important advice for motorists in the run-up to and during the London 2012 Games.
During the London 2012 Games, London will be turned into a sporting and cultural venue. With the Games Family arriving, the athletes’ village opening and the final preparations being made, roads in central London and around venues will be much busier than usual from the middle of July.
In order to ensure that the Capital remains open for business and we can keep London moving during the Games, TfL’s advice to road users is clear:
- From mid-July, motorists should avoid central London, around the ORN and Games venues;
- Motorists should also avoid the areas around the road event courses on competition days, such as the Cycling Road Races on 28 and 29 July, as well as the Cycle Time Trial on the 01 August;
- Every day of the Games is different, so if you must drive, plan ahead and allow more time;
- Go to www.getaheadofthegames.com to find out how you can avoid the road hotspots during the Games.
The ORN, a 109-mile network of roads linking Games venues on one per cent of the Capital’s roads, is a requirement of the Host City contract and is vital in ensuring all athletes, officials and the world’s media get to their Games events on time. All motorists can use the ORN, 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.
TfL today confirmed that operation and enforcement of the ORN, including the Games Lanes, will begin on Wednesday 25 July, a couple of days before the Opening Ceremony of the Olympic Games. It will end operation a couple of days after the Games and will not be in operation between the Olympics and Paralympics. The smaller Paralympic Route Network (PRN) will also come into operation just a couple of days before the Paralympic Games. Once Games events are completed at a venue, such as Wimbledon, the ORN will be removed.
Ahead of the start of operation and enforcement of the ORN, 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.
Ahead of then, from 1 July, road markings will start to be put down along the ORN but these will not change the operation of the roads. Adjustments to over 1,300 sets of traffic signals will also begin from 1 July, before traffic levels significantly increase as thousands of athletes and media descend on the Capital. These adjustments will have minimal impact on road users as they will be balanced out by the complete ban on all planned road works along the ORN and on all A and B roads. The physical changes along the ORN, including installing temporary traffic islands and barriers to simplify junctions need to be completed before the torch relay arrives and central London becomes 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 2100hrs on Friday 20 July and finishing the morning of Wednesday 25 July, when the ORN begins operation and enforcement.
London’s transport commissioner, Peter Hendy said:“During the Games, London will be turned into a massive sporting and cultural venue. We have plans in place to get all athletes, officials and the world’s media to their Games events on time and to keep London moving and open for business.
“From-mid July, central London and areas around Games venues will be much busier than usual. The ORN, which is part of the Host City contract for the Games, will be a vital part of managing the busy roads and delivering a great Games. It will come into operation on the 25 July, a couple of days before the Opening Ceremony.
“Our advice to motorists is clear. From mid-July, avoid driving in central London, around the ORN and Games venues. If you must drive, plan your journey using www.getaheadofthegames.com.”