London Cabbies Plan Olympics Traffic Demos
Taxi drivers are planning demonstrations they say will “bring London to a standstill” amid an ongoing row over Olympic traffic.
Cabbies are angry that the Games Lanes, which will be for the exclusive use of Olympic officials, athletes, sponsors and media, will be closed to public transport during the Games.
Jonathan Myers, of the United Cabbies Group, told Sky News : “I think they’ve got to allow taxis into these lanes.
“If you think about when the Tube goes down, suddenly taxis become really, really important. That’s going to be a daily occurrence for 100 days.
“The Tube is going to be closed, they’re going to have to close the gate. It’ll be too crowded, it won’t cope.
“I’m not just talking about getting (people) to the Olympic Games. I’m talking about getting people around London.
“They’ve got to get to work, they’ve got to the hospital, and they won’t be able to rely on times.”
The Olympic Route Network stretches 109 miles, a third of which will be set aside for the exclusive use of the so-called Olympic family
United Cabbies Group has already staged a number of flash demonstrations, and is planning to escalate its action in the run-up to the Games.
“We don’t plan to bring London to a standstill,” said Myers.
“But we think that the anger out here is that so many people are going to protest, that it is going to bring London to a standstill.
“But I don’t really see what three, four, five hours of bringing London to a standstill’s going to matter, because we’re going to have a hundred days of it.”
Transport has consistently been the biggest headache for the organisers of the 2012 Games and has also been the most major cause for concern among the International Olympic Committee .
Last week, the London Mayor Boris Johnson moved to reassure the IOC, telling Olympic inspectors; “Our venues are ready, our park is ready, our transport system is being transformed.”
However, Denis Oswald, chairman of the IOC’s Coordination Commission, said that transport was an issue the commission will “have to follow very closely until the end”.