London

2012 Olympic Games lanes 'will increase traffic'

Dedicated lanes for Olympic athletes and VIPs during the London 2012 Games will increase traffic in parts of the city, transport bosses have said.

Transport for London (TfL) admitted the "Games Lanes" would put greater traffic demands on certain parts of the network during the Olympics.

Bosses also warned of long delays on the Tube unless commuter numbers fall.

TfL said it had spent more than £6bn upgrading the network for the Olympics and contingencies were being worked on.

The lanes will be on a third of the 109-mile Olympic Route Network [ORN], which will be roadwork-free and cover 1% of the capital's roads.

The ORN will be used by 18,000 athletes and officials during the Olympics as well as 6,000 during the Paralympics.

Lanes will be created in The Highway, in east London, around Wembley Stadium in the north-west of the city, through central London and out to Greenwich and for the main Olympics site at Stratford.

Mark Evers, from TfL, said: "We recognise that the Games are going to create part of the transport network that will be subject to greater traffic demands and we've put in place a variety of measures in order to try and manage that.

"At the moment we are sitting down with local authorities, businesses and residents in order to understand how we get the balance right."

Next summer it is expected an extra three million journeys per day will be made on public transport.

Models drawn up by TfL show a 30% drop in the number of commuters on the Tube network is required to make space for Olympic visitors, or huge delays are expected.

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