Wednesday, June 29, 2011

Wimbledon Tennis Traffic

I thought I'd go out for a little ride, bust a few red lights and scare some pedestrians, like we cyclists do. My circuit today took me past the All-England Club. For 50 weeks of the year, it's quieter than a graveyard at night, but right at the moment it's a magnet for tennis fans the world over.

Above you see Church Road at the junction with Victoria Drive. In the middle of the day, this is normally very quiet. The police are directing traffic to give some order to the chaos, and doing a reasonable job, but it's not stopping a considerable tailback along Church Road towards Southfields. The people on the two buses in this picture have to wait in the queue with the cars.

Now imagine this scene repeated at various venues all over London, only on a considerably larger scale. Imagine further that one lane on key routes is exclusively reserved for the limousines of the sponsors and other big cheeses, further adding to the chaos.

Around the All-England Club, various people have set up their front gardens as parking lots, and charging twenty quid a pop - a nice little earner. Luckily, Wimbledon Tennis is an established yearly event and almost all the fans arrive by public transport. But you can't stop some people from driving. At the Olympics, with the prospect of sweaty, packed-out tube trains and buses stuck in traffic jams, some people will try to drive and you can't blame them. I'm sure there'll be plenty of impromptu parking lots set up by enterprising east-enders to cater for them, even if they can't park at the venues. And it won't take many extra car drivers to turn normally-congested roads into total gridlock.

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