This was incredible!
Rush-hour delays were reported on London roads this morning after special lanes for Olympics traffic became operational.
Motorists in the capital are being advised to allow extra time for journeys after the Olympic Route Network (ORN) came into force at 6am on Wednesday.
Thirty miles of Games lanes are now operational and “ordinary” motorists caught using them will face fines of £130, while release fees for impounded vehicles could be £200.
Their introduction immediately led to problems for those commuting by car during the morning rush-hour.
The worst traffic jams and hold-ups were reported on the M4 in west London, the A4 around Chiswick, the A12 at the Lea Interchange in east London and at the A13 Canning Town Flyover.
Grosvenor Place in Victoria, Hyde Park Corner, Tower Bridge and Baker Street were also very busy.
At the same time, Sky’s Enda Brady said the Games lanes in west London were mainly empty, spotting only a handful of official vehicles as he travelled along the official route.
He noted that the Games lanes were being “very well observed” by drivers.
The lanes have come into operation two days before the Games’ official opening ceremony and are to be used by authorised “Olympic Family” vehicles only, with other motorists restricted to using remaining lanes.
These include vehicles used by athletes, Olympics officials and VIPs. At times, some 1,300 vehicles an hour are expected to use them.
Kevin Delaney, former head of traffic at the Metropolitan Police and now head of road safety at the Institute of Advanced Motorists, said: “London’s roads are at capacity or close to it throughout the day.
“If you reduce the capacity for ordinary traffic on the Games routes up to 50%, then you have to reduce the amount of cars by the same amount.
“Many drivers will switch to public transport, which will also be used by many thousands of spectators, so the potential is there for even a small incident to bring London to a standstill.”
Transport for London (TfL) is urging drivers to avoid London from now until the end of the Games.
London mayor Boris Johnson said: “With just days until the opening ceremony, London is more prepared for the Games than any other Olympic city has ever been.
“The ORN is a requirement of all host cities, ensuring athletes and officials get to their events on time.”
But severe delays were also reported on several Tube lines on Wednesday morning, fuelling concerns the notoriosly creaky Underground system will be unable to cope with the strain of the Games.
London 2012 has marked 100 days to go to the start of the Olympics by launching the slogan for the Games: “Inspire a generation.”
A launch event at Kew Gardens in London also saw the unveiling of giant Olympic rings created by flowers which will be visible from flights arriving at Heathrow airport.
London 2012 chairman Sebastian Coe said: “With 100 days to go to the start of the Games, millions of people are getting ready to do the best work of their lives and welcome the world this summer. Expectations are high and we won’t disappoint.”
Organisers also announced that the Red Arrows – the RAF aerobatic team – will perform a flypast across the UK to mark the opening ceremony on July 27, flying over London 2012 live sites in Belfast, Cardiff, Edinburgh and London.
There will be a total of 22 live sites in towns and cities with big screens.
Hmmm not sure i’ll be in the country to enjoy this event but let me know how it goes ok?
This feels good…UK Rap/Hip-hop is completely mainstream now!
American supermodel Caprice Bourret brought America’s Thanksgiving holiday to London on Wednesday by hosting a celebratory meal for homeless women.
The blonde beauty teamed up with students from the American InterContinental University to provide a traditional feast for the needy at the headquarters of homelessness charity The Marylebone Project.
She donned a cowboy hat to carve an enormous turkey and help hand out the meals in a dining hall decorated with Stars and Stripes flags and giant pumpkins.
Bourret says, “I’m really glad to come down again this year to the Marylebone Project and help with AIU London’s event. It makes the women so happy and is always such a great day out for them. It’s the only time I’ll be celebrating Thanksgiving this year and I’ve been really looking forward to it.”
The annual Thanksgiving Day holiday takes place in the U.S. on Thursday.
Rockers Coldplay are curating a star-studded concert in London to raise funds for charity.
The Yellow hitmakers were asked by bosses at Kids Company to put together a line-up for the show next month and they called on their famous friends for help.
The band will perform on the bill of the Under 1 Roof concert, along with rapper Tinie Tempah, soul singer Emeli Sande, and comedians Steve Coogan and Rob Brydon.
The show, at London’s O2 Arena, will raise money for Kids Company, which provides help and support for vulnerable children in deprived areas of the British capital.
In a statement, Coldplay say, “Kids Company is a phenomenal organisation that is very close to our hearts. We hope that people get behind the event to raise as much money for Kids Company as possible. On our side, we can promise anyone that buys a ticket that they’ll be part of a very special night.”
Sounds great…put Alex Thompson on the bill and i’ll even support the cause!
Now wouldn’t we all love a bit of SJ on our plates?!? *Nodding*
The ‘We Found Love’ star was booed by fans as they had to endure almost a 55 minute wait before she came on stage at the 02 Arena on Monday (14th November).
The singer, who was playing the latest date of her Loud tour, caused further upset by delivering a slightly lacklustre performance once she finally hit the stage, as a source told The Sun: “Fans weren’t happy at all. Especially as, when she did finally come on stage, her performance was half-hearted.”
This is not the first time that Rihanna has caused fans to wait for her show to start having previously done the same thing in Ireland.
Sorry people…I’ll try not to keep Rih Rih too long next time!
A bit played out now since Rihanna’s journey on the tube but Justin Bieber was spotted travelling to his London hotel on a double-decker bus earlier today.
The 17-year-old star walked out of his west London hotel and hopped on the double-decker bus that was waiting outside. However, Justin was not as rock and roll and Rihanna, because the bus was private hire so there were no members of the public on board.
Justin was accompanied by minders and was followed by a camera crew as he sat on the top deck and took in the sights of west London. Biebs is in the capital to promote his new Christmas album Under The Mistletoe and is also rumoured to be performing on The X Factor.