Olympic rehearsal shuts London roads, angering drivers

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Car Rental News - 15/08/2011


London drivers were fuming yesterday, after roads in the capital were closed in the run up to the 2012 Olympics.

A warm-up event held yesterday in London as a rehearsal for next year’s Olympic Games appears to have shown London’s Olympic organisation to be disastrously wanting after motorists ended up frustrated, out of petrol, and suffering massive delays. Some people were left with no option but to cancel day trips to which they had long been looking forward.

There were allegations of traffic chaos, baffling information failures and stunning lapses in organisation, as a cycle race from London to Surrey left motorists stuck in long queues. Many simply had no option but to wait, as stewards hired to direct traffic around the maze of diversions and road closures arrived from far outside London without so much as a map to make up for their lack of local knowledge.

The London-Surrey Cycle Classic, which forms one of the warm-up events for next year’s 2012 Olympic Games, should have been an opportunity to sample to excitement and achievement of a great sporting event. In the end, it appears to have failed even to highlight the benefits to the environment of greet transport, as fuming drivers clogged roads, churning out even more pollution than would otherwise blight the capital.

Some 2,800 stewards had been hired from private security companies specifically to help alleviate transport headaches caused by running the event. In the end, however, stewards appear to have been hired from distant cities with little regard for their actual ability to assist motorists, many of whom ended up angry and confrontational with the poor staff who were laid on to avoid exactly such a problem.

One steward was reported to have questioned why they were not supplied with any information, such as a highlighted map, with which to help drivers avoid the chaos. Transport for London said the public had been properly alerted in advance but many drivers complained that once they left the house, there was almost no information to assist them.

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