Wednesday, 17 February 2010

On the five-ring circus coming to town...

I happened to spot another bloggers' comments on how she loves the Olympics recently.

OK, it's an international sporting event, held once every four years. You've also got the Paralympics (held shortly after the main Olympics event in the same host city) and the Winter Olympics, held to the same schedule, with the winter version sandwiched smack dab between main events, every two years after the main event, so to speak.

But why am I commenting on this, in the year of the winter Olympics?

Simple. In two years, London's going to be a veritable nightmare of epic proportions - because in 2012, we'll be hosting this three-ring - sorry, FIVE-ring - circus, with all the of people/traffic/air congestion, security nightmares, and complete sense of bedlam that this will cause the residents of this city.

As a London Bus driver - politicians and their optimistic, condescending, and frankly self-serving statements not withstanding - I frankly doubt whether our road and rail networks can handle the sheer mass of humanity that's gonna descend on us: In fact I fully expect that this capital city and its' suburbs will grind to a halt through sheer weight of numbers descending on us each day of the circus that's coming to town.

It's a matter of what the planners call "infrastructure". In London's case, it's all to do with the width and amount of traffic loading that the roads can handle - their total capacity, in other words. Just have a look at how London currently handles a typical 'Rush Hour' in the afternoon... it takes three to four times what it normally does in off-peak times for normal car drivers - I, as a bus driver, have the advantage in using dedicated bus lanes to get past heavy traffic. Now, add in the loading for the Olympics, and you can forget lane discipline, your average London car driver will stick two fingers up at bus lanes, and drive down them, thus blocking them when everyone else follows suit.


Total and uncompromising gridlock. Not even Emergency Services will be able to punch their way through.

Forget the terrorist threats, the traffic'll do for London.

You may think I'm being defeatist or pessimistic about the potential problems we're looking at. I disagree. I think I'm being realistic.

Think I'll pre-book my leave now, and organise a decent holiday for my partner and myself, somewhere else that'll be sunny and pleasant, while the going's good

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