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London 2012 travel farce as Olympic athletes got lost

Monday, July 16, 2012
1:11 PM

Road bans come into effect today in London with lanes reserved for Olympic athletes and officials.

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But not everything has run smoothly, despite the restrictions.

American athletes and a pack of journalists were delayed for hours on coaches.

The Olympic Route Network is in effect to promote speedy travel to and from Games venues.

Straying into an Olympic lane will mean a fine for drivers who are not members of the “Olympic family.”

But the new rules failed to ensure a smooth progress to the Olympic village in Stratford for runner Kerron Clement.

Two-time world 400 metres hurdles champion Clement took to Twitter to express his exasperation at the four hour-long delay.

“Um, so we’ve been lost on the road for 4hrs. Not a good first impression London,” he wrote.

“Athletes are sleepy, hungry and need to pee. Could we get to the Olympic Village please.”

Meanwhile, pack of reporters suffered delays when the driver of a double decker bus in which they were travelling got lost en-route to Stratford from Russell Square.

But a warm welcome awaits arriving athletes and VIPs at Heathrow airport.

They were greeted by UK celebrity sportspeople. Except the famous faces were masks wore by a horde of greeters.

Among the paper mask welcoming committee were cyclist Chris Hoy, footballer David Beckham and F1 star Lewis Hamilton.

Brother and sister Jefferson and Jennifer Liu, aged 18 and 15 respectively, touched down from Hong Kong.

Jefferson said: “It was a lovely welcome and surprise. We were at the Beijing Games four years ago and are very excited to be in London this time around.”

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