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WALTHAM FOREST: Roads concern over Olympic routes
3:27pm Monday 11th July 2011 in Waltham Forest
THERE are serious concerns that the road network in Waltham Forest will not be able to cope with extra traffic caused by restrictions imposed for the Olympics.
Drivers using some roads will be banned from making some turns, traffic lights will be phased and parking bays suspended in measures aimed at minimising disruption.
The Olympic Route Network includes so-called ‘Games lanes’, with main roads into east London affected.
These will only be open to vehicles used by athletes and officials to enable swift access to Games venues, including the Olympic Park in Stratford.
Transport for London (TfL), which is managing the changes on behalf of the Olympic Delivery Authority (ODA), has published details of the 10-week traffic orders in newspapers this week.
These are scheduled to come into force at the beginning of the summer holidays next year, when road use drops.
The International Olympic Committee examined the proposals last week and reportedly requested further clarity to prevent a public backlash.
Former Mayor of London Ken Livingstone has warned Boris Johnson that the capital will go into “shutdown mode” because of the restrictions.
There will not be any access to the A12 towards central London from the Green Man roundabout in Leytonstone between 6am and 11am every day for 10 weeks.
Alternative routes such as High Road, Leytonstone and Lea Bridge Road already suffer reglular congestion.
A Games lane also begins close to the bridge near Leyton Tube station, which will be enforced between 6am and midnight.
The Lea Interchange exit from the A12 will be closed in both directions during the same period. There are no planned restrictions to accommodate traffic accessing the storage area on Drapers Fields in Leyton.
Cllr Clyde Loakes, cabinet Member for traffic and highways, said: "The council has been working with TfL and LOCOG regarding the transport network during the games for the past year, and meets with them regularly.
“We do have serious concerns about the capacity of the transport network, in particular the A12, Green Man Roundabout, Whipps Cross Road, Lea Bridge Road, Leytonstone High Road and the area around Leyton Station.
However, the discussion and transport modelling are continuing.
“The demands of such a huge logistical operation will mean a huge impact on the entire transport network, to an unprecedented scale. We need to continue to work with our partners to ensure the road system is able to cope throughout the duration of Games."
TfL commissioner Peter Hendy said VIP-only lanes would not be introduced until the day of the opening ceremony.
“The essential thing in London is that circumstances are not practical to have the Olympic lanes except when they are needed. “They said in Athens they put them in earlier so people could get used to them but here the reverse is true,” he added.
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