Assembly’s John Biggs accuses IOC of ‘extortion’ over Olympics road lanes

07:58 25 July 2012

Olympic lane... forbidden view from drivers

Olympic lane... forbidden view from drivers' seat 6am-Midnight each day

Archant

London Assembly Member John Biggs has accused City Hall of giving in to IOC “extortion” over the controversial Olympic reserved lanes which he says will mean road chaos and isolating the whole of Wapping for the next two weeks.

He has called on TfL to ease up on traffic restrictions, predicting widespread chaos when they come into force at 6am each day from tomorrow (Weds).

But TfL insists the lanes are a requirement of any host city contract with the IOC to stage the Games. They are reserved for athletes, officials and the world’s media.

Mr Biggs, who represents east London on the Assembly, believes City Hall should have stood its ground.

He told the Advertiser: “These lanes are just for the men in blazers—the ‘Blazer’azzi’ swanning around in chauffer-driven limmos to and from their paid-for hotels.

“Serious athletes will get to venues hours before if they aren’t staying in the Olympics Park village.

“The men in blazers don’t need their own lanes up to midnight anyway, just to rush away from events. They should put up with the traffic and enjoy the experience of London life.

“It’s what we called ‘extortion’ in the old days.”

Wapping is one of the worst areas affected by the Olympic lanes painted along The Highway between Tower Hill and Limehouse.

It means drivers can’t turn right from or into side turnings. Motorists and deliveries face up to three-mile detours to Tower Hill or Limehouse to turn round.

Five pedestrian crossings have been removed, leaving just seven over the stretch along the busy A1203, with buses also being diverted.

But TfL’s Mark Evers said: “The lanes are in place to make sure athletes and officials get to events on time.

“TfL recognises the impact of the Olympic lanes on Wapping is particularly significant. That is why we have made sure there is access across and onto the Olympic network. We also informed the public of the safe crossing points.”

John Biggs accused the IOC of making “too many unreasonable demands” which were not related to the Olympics.

London should have stood firm, he added, because the IOC “can’t take away the Games now!”

Sign up for our news alerts today!

Our editors' picks for the day's top news delivered to your inbox or phone.

Sign up for email alerts Sign up for mobile alerts
1
2 3 4 5 6
7

Latest London politics news

Wednesday, March 4, 2015
The usual suspects

In the run-up to the general election, we’ve decided to tell you what you really want to know about David Cameron, Ed Miliband, Nigel Farage, Natalie Bennett and Nick...Someone based on Google searches.

Wednesday, March 4, 2015
[Homes for Britain]

The cost of buying or renting a home in London is something everyone has to deal with, but these posters at Westminster Tube station show just how overpriced property in the capital has become.

Friday, February 27, 2015
The Mayor with Nathan Bostock, Chief Executive of Santander (Photo by Steve Bardens/ Getty Images for Santander)

The Mayor of London took a new red Boris Bike out for a spin this morning as he announced Santander was taking over from Barclays as sponsor of the city’s cycle scheme.

Thursday, February 26, 2015
Sol Campbell has announced his intention to run for Mayor of London  (Photo by Stuart C. Wilson/Getty Images)

The former Arsenal, Spurs and England defender Sol Campbell has announced his intention to take over from Boris Johnson and become the next Mayor of London. But would he be any good?

Tuesday, February 24, 2015
Natalie Bennett spluttered and stalled her way through an interview with radio station LBC

Cringeworthy, incredibly awkward, car crash - all words you used to describe the Green Party leader Natalie Bennett’s radio interview with LBC this morning.

Wednesday, February 11, 2015
[Photograph by @WolvoPingu]

Housing protesters have clashed with police officers as they held a ‘mock eviction’ at a fancy dinner for bailiffs where they say people were “receiving awards for making families homeless.”

Latest Stories from SNAP.PA

We’re hoping there weren’t any broken bones…

Read more

The Brit-winning singer could be headed for the big screen.

Read more

It was a family affair when the actor got his honour on the Walk Of Fame.

Read more

Promoted content

A look at one of our previous Design Fairs

Chelsea Old Town Hall will be the venue for the renowned Desire Fair from 6-8 March 2015. This stunning mixed media jewellery and silversmithing event where visitors can purchase direct from contemporary designer makers selected from the best in the UK is an event not to be missed.

Take our quiz and find out!

A survey conducted last year revealed that Britain is the fourth sexiest country in the world, with the UK sex toy industry worth an estimated £250 million a year.

What is this?

Near You Now

Don't Miss...

The boy’s mother doesn’t regret sending her child to school dressed as a character from an erotic novel.

No more traffic wardens “hiding in doorways”…

The Mayor reckons the horse symbolises the “dynamism of London” – does it?

Quirky London