Hopes dashed for relaxing east London’s Olympic Route restrictions

Hopes have been dashed for thousands of people having to travel on roads in East London during the summer Olympics that traffic restrictions would be relaxed.

The Mayor and Transport for London have refused to relax the ban on u-turns and right-turns or reinstate pedestrian crossings on the Olympic Road Network, it has emerged.

Even scaling back on the restriction hours has been turned down, London Assembly member John Biggs said tonight.

“This really isn’t good enough,” he told the Docklands & East London Advertiser.

“The rules are punishing East Enders for the benefit of a few Olympic bureaucrats.


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“The people of Wapping, the Isle of Dogs and other parts of East London will be isolated.

“Businesses will suffer as workers struggle in. The lack of pedestrian safe crossing points also remains a worry.”

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Mr Biggs, who represents the City and East London on the Assembly, is now seeking an urgent meeting with the Deputy Mayor for Transport.

TfL announced at the end of January that operating hours were to be relaxed on parts of the Olympic Route Network where lanes are reserved for VIP vehicles.

But it has since been revealed that the relaxation will only apply to outlying suburban stretches of the Network—not inner city areas like the already-congested East End.

John raised this issue again at Mayor’s Question Time—but says the Mayor has refused to budge.

One of the toughest restrictions is along The Highway between Tower Hill and Limehouse, with right-turns or even crossing straight over is being banned if you’re coming out of Wapping. Drivers heading eastward away from the City will have to turn left instead, joining the traffic queue for a mile before going round the usually-congested Tower Hill one-way system to head back eastward.

Pedestrian crossings are also scrapped along this busy stretch of the A1203 to allow VIP traffic to speed up, which has led to protests by families in Wapping.

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