More Olympic Lane Confusion

So the press, including the Eenig Stannurd and Daily Heil, have been keen to capitalise (see what I did there?) on the apparent madness of Bus Lanes – from which ordinary motorists are banned at certain times of the day (including those bizarrely signed as being in operation all day from Monday to Sunday, i.e. always) – running side by side with Olympic Lanes for VIPs and from which we’re also banned, which would appear to mean that motorists would be unable to use those roads at all.


Indeed, I saw the same markings heading through Battersea at the weekend, and was going to blog about it, suggesting a campaign of civil obedience which would effectively block off those routes, leading to gridlock.

But I say ‘appear to’ because that’s how the rules would appear to be unless you, for instance, expand the interactive maps at TfL and then enable the overlay that shows bus route changes. Those overlays then show that for at least part of the period during which the ORN is in operation, those bus lanes will be suspended. I doubt that they’ll be well signposted, but heigh ho. Sloppy journalism at its best and one for the usual brand of braying sheep to seize upon and repost everywhere…

Olympic Route Network – Clear As Mud

Yet more fuckwittery from TFL and LOCOG, I presume: this time it’s the Olympic Route Network which shows the already-busy routes that will be completely messed up by bussing all the VIPs around in their 4,000 chauffeured BMWs – oh and maybe one or two athletes who aren’t staying on site at the Villages for some unknown reason.

So here’s a map of the routes: London 2012 Olympic Route Network (PDF)

There you go then: the Olympic Route Network … oh and an Alternative Olympic Route Network “to be used if the Olympic Route Network cannot be used”. Eh? Wait, there’s an explanation:

“Some road race events including the Cycling Road Race, the Triathlon and the Olympic and Paralympic Marathons, will take place on sections of the Olympic or Paralympic Route Network (ORN/PRN). During these events, which are mostly at weekends, some parts of the ORN/PRN will be closed and an alternative ORN/PRN route will be in place.  These alternative routes will be open to all general traffic. However, there will be some temporary traffic changes, including changes to traffic signal timings, on these roads so that athletes, officials, media and key Games workers can get to events on time.”

No news as to what other traffic changes will be planned if us common people are supposedly still allowed to use them. And there’s another map for us to look at showing these ORNs … which doesn’t tie-up with the AORNs on the first map, of course: where’s Jamaica Road, etc.?

Confused? You will be…

Unofficial Sarcasm Provider to the London Olympics

I’ve pointed out previously that the last place anyone living in London should want to be in August 2012 will be London whilst the London Olympics is on as it’ll be chaos.

This week, there’s been news about locations for missile batteries in the East End as well. Presumably there to protect the £24bn “investment” that it has grown to (up from the £2bn that Tony BLiar’s Government promised us it would cost when we bid for the Games).

Having decided to spend a whole shedload of our cash, LOCOG have also sought to “monetise” the Games as best they can – no doubt on advice from their Strategic Consulting Provider- and may have taken (or possibly, ignored…) advice from their official market research services provider to the London 2012 Olympic and Paralympic Games as to which companies to approach to get an Official Doodah Provider to the London 2012 Olympic Games moniker:

“The Nielsen Company will assist us in the decision making process by testing our ideas in the market place. One of our challenges – and opportunities – is connecting with young people. Nielsen will help us do this and will, I’m sure, prove to be a huge asset to our marketing push.”

Said Lord Coe. In excellent marketing-speak.

Part of this connection with young people, presumably, is telling them they can’t upload photos onto Facebook or Twitter or whatever from the event if they’re lucky enough to have bought tickets for a quick slot to see a heat of an event before being told to bugger off for the next spectator to take their place:

“Sir Keith Mills, deputy chairman of organisers Locog, said said organisers wanted to make sure that media rights which have been paid for are protected.”

The same goes for the 70,000 (presumably young) people who will be acting as “Games Makers”.

And I suppose that this connection with young people will be to “inspire a generation” – how much did that cost? – perhaps by steering them towards some of the other companies who’ve chipped in (despite growing concern as to their products) to be Worldwide Partner (Coca-Cola)Official Lager Supplier (Heineken, with “exclusive pouring rights”), Official Restaurant of the London 2012 Olympic GamesOfficial Treat Provider (Cadbury/Trebor) and of course choose from any selection from drugs company and Official Laboratory Services Provider to London 2012 (GlaxoSmithKline). What could possibly go wrong?

Some smokes, some beers...


Still, it’s just business…

London 2012 Olympic Games

Yet more reasons for abandoning London during the Olympic Games have come out this week: reports of a lack of hotel rooms and extortionate pricing for those which are available have been discussed on various news channels.

It’s all about supply and demand, of course.

In this case, demand is high because of both the ‘main’ Olympic Games as well as the Paralympic Games afterwards. As noted on the BBC’s “Democracy Live” website:

 ”Speaking during questions on 9 February 2012, Ms Jowell told MPs of a mother who had been forced to pay £1,000 a night for a specially adapted hotel room in order to take her disabled daughter to the Paralympic Games.

“The same room would cost £375 during the Easter holidays, a 167% increase, Ms Jowell claimed.

“She told MPs that her team’s research found that hotel prices in London during the course of the games were, on average, 315% higher than normal.”

Of course demand will be high from tourists and visitors wanting to watch the Games, but it’s also the supply side that’s being affected. Why? Well it’s down to that great gravy train of excess and privilege known as “the Olympic family”. This is estimated to mean 78,400 people. Yes, 78,400!  Of these, well over 60% aren’t actually athletes or officials:

“National Olympic Committees (NOC) 19,900
– Athletes
– Team officials

International Federations (IF) 4,150
– Technical officials
– International Federations staff and guests

Media 21,300
– Press, photographers, journalists
– Rights holding broadcasters
– Olympic Broadcast Organisation

International Olympic Committee (IOC) 1,650
– IOC members
– World AntiDoping Agency
– Court of Arbitration of Sport
– IOC Medical Commission
– IOC staff
– Observers and guests

Marketing partners (sponsors) 31,400
– The Olympic Partners and guests
– Marketing Partner Coach Programme (ticketed)

Grand total 78,400″


This is the bunch that will be bringing traffic chaos to London with the Olympic Route Network of Olympic Family-only traffic lanes carved out of the already-congested existing road network.  It’s explained nicely here:

And where are all these Olympic Family members staying? Well maybe in the rooms they’ve block-booked at specially reduced rates:

“Under a deal struck in 2005, Locog booked around 600,000 room nights in London during the course of the games, for Olympic officials, media and others.

“In January, around 120,000 of these rooms were put back on sale to the public after Locog said it no longer needed them.”

Ah! That would explain it! I’m so pleased I won’t be here in London during the Olympics…