March 6 - Transport for London (TfL) are in the final stages of implementing the Olympic Route Network (ORN) used to transport athletes, officials, media and VIP guests – such as International Olympic Committee (IOC) members – around the capital during London 2012 with the public able to use the Games Lanes during off-peak periods.
For the last 12 months, Londoners have been consulted on the measures required on the ORN and TfL is now ready to make the Traffic Regulation Orders (TROs) on the 109 mile network, which covers around one per cent of London's roads.
But it has been revealed that in order to allow the traffic to keep moving during the Olympics, the Games lanes, which will be in place on a third - about 30 miles - of the ORN, will operate flexibly at Games time and therefore be opened up to all traffic at times when demand from Games family vehicles is low and capacity available.
A network of 150 Variable Message Signs (VMS) along the route will advise motorists when the Games lanes are open to regular traffic throughout the day.
The announcement was made here by TfL managing director of surface transport Leon Daniels.
"It will, of course, be very busy during the Games and our advice to road users is to avoid the traffic hotspots if possible or if journeys are essential, plan ahead and allow more time," he said.
"However, our plans to operate the Games Lanes flexibly will mean we will open them up to all traffic when demand from Games vehicles is low.
"Exactly 150 Variable Message Signs will be used to inform road users when the Games Lanes are open to all traffic, meaning we can manage the whole road network as efficiently as possible."
Daniels was joined here at the announcement by London 2012 chief executive Paul Deighton, who also revealed that proposals for traffic management and parking plans have today been published around all Olympic and Paralympic venues in London.
The plans are designed to guarantee that access and parking for local residents and businesses is protected, while ensuring admittance to venues is as efficient as possible.
London 2012 is working with all the local authorities around its competition venues to engage with local residents and businesses, before these plans are confirmed by the end of April ahead of the Games this summer.
The maps and full details of plans are published on www.london2012.com/accessandparking.
"We are finalising our plans around venues and we are working closely with TfL and the local authorities around each venue to do this," explained Deighton.
"We have to ensure that spectators can get from transport links to venues safely, whilst providing a reliable and secure transport service to get athletes, officials and media into venues.
"We want to do this in way that also takes into account the people who live and work near those places and minimise disruption to them.
"We don't want spectators driving to venues and parking on residential streets, we want them to take public transport.
"Equally we want local businesses to thrive this summer and we are determined that London will be open for business during the Games."
Proposed plans would see a number of traffic alterations and parking restrictions in the vicinity of venues which would see a range of measures including some road closures or restricted access and controlled parking zones when events are on.
The measures will ensure spectators, athletes and officials gain safe and swift access to venues, while providing residents and businesses near to venues peace of mind that they can continue their day to day lives with the minimum of disruption.
Free parking permits will be issued to residents where restrictions are needed, with extra passes available for visitors and carers.
Meanwhile, local businesses will be issued with clear guidelines to outline arrangements with regards to deliveries and visitors.
"At TfL we have two objectives, to support a great London 2012 Games and to keep London moving," added Daniels.
"We're working closely with London 2012 and other key partners to finalise traffic and parking plans and communicate these to all Londoners in the areas affected.
"The full picture of how the road network will operate in Games time is coming together; the plans published by London 2012 today complement all of the detail we have been sharing over the last twelve months giving Londoners all the information they need to plan their road journeys."
London 2012 is working with each individual local authority around venues on these plans and they are due to be confirmed by the end of April.
The measures will come into place just before the Games begin and will run around the competition schedule.
Enforcement will be the responsibility of the relevant local authority.
In the meantime, www.getaheadofthegames.com, which provides a wide range of information on Games time travel to ensure people can plan well ahead of the Games, has been updated to include all of the new information published today.
Contact the writer of this story at [email protected]
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