Olympic Route Network

MQT on 2009-11-18
Session date: 
November 18, 2009
Question By: 
Victoria Borwick
GLA Conservatives
Asked Of: 
The Mayor


What consideration has been given to reserving one carriage on the Javelin for the Olympic family as an alternative to 'Zil' Lanes?


Answer for Olympic Route Network

Answer for Olympic Route Network

Answered By: 
The Mayor

Obviously, Victoria, you have campaigned on this a lot and I think you are doing a great job on it. It is vital that we minimise the disruption to Londoners during the Olympics and I have been talking, as you can imagine, not just to LOCOG but also to the International Olympic Committee (IOC) about this. I will be having conversations with Jacques Rogge [President, IOC] about exactly what kind of burden we think London can bear. Clearly, it is our overwhelming belief that these guys should go by public transport. As far as possible the Olympic spectators and the members of the Olympic family should be encouraged to go by public transport.

The difficulty with just relying, as you propose, on one reserved car on the Javelin is that no matter how brilliant the Javelin is - and it will be a fantastic addition to transport in London - you simply cannot satisfy the need with that expedient. There are going to be 55,000 athletes who need to be transported around London. It is vital, for the reputation of this city that we get it right. Atlanta, where there was chaos in the movement of officials and in the movement of athletes, has gone down in history as a blot on the reputation of that city. We do not want to have a repeat of that in London. It is vital that we get it right.

I would stress these so-called Zil lanes are not yet set in stone. We have only just agreed the venues after all. We have only just finally got a package on the venues. They are not finally decided. The extent to which they will be compulsorily open is not yet decided. This is still fluid. All the emphasis will be on maintaining the smoothness of London traffic flow and avoiding disruption to Londoners.