Not content with failing to create decent cycle lanes to the Olympic venues, TfL are now banning cyclists from the ‘Zil lanes’ created to ferry VIPs to and from the Olympic venues, Ross Lydall has revealed. Cabbies are also banned from the lanes, along with everyone else.
Cyclists are used to being treated as VUPs (Very Unimportant People), but who are these ‘VIPs’, and why do they need special lanes? The athletes should be staying near to the venue for their sport, as should all the hangers-on. If anyone wants to stay in central London, they can get up early to miss the traffic. Or they could take the tube or even cycle. The only indispensible, very important people in the Games are the athletes.
As Brian Coleman commented last year, “The exclusive Olympic lanes on Euston Road and Southampton Row are only being created because the international media is staying in swanky Bloomsbury hotels."
Cabbies are planning a protest – maybe cyclists should join them – after all, your enemy’s enemy is your friend. On the other hand, congestion is also often the cyclist's friend, so if parts of London get seriously gummed up by these lanes, and the tubes are full of ticket-clutching sports fans, it could leave cycling as the only practical way of getting around...