London Olympics Organizers "Discourage" Car Travel
We've reported on calls from environmentally-minded academics and academically-minded environmentalists to ban cars completely from England's capital city. Up to now, these anti-car campaigners' only vision of an auto-free urban utopia arrived via London's annual "car free" day. The Telegraph reports that they could get 16-days of automotive respite when the Olympics blow into Stratford. Although the Olympic Delivery Authority (ODA, sponsored by FedEx?) is not calling for a ban on car travel to and from the 2012 games, they do want "100 per cent of spectators travelling to the Olympic Park in Stratford by public transport, walking and cycling." Hmmm. Anyway, this "encouragement" doesn't include dignitaries and officials from the International Olympic Committee and sponsors, who will be able to drive in special Olympic lanes during Games time. As for the plebs, the ODA recently accepted delivery of their first "javelin" test train; a plethora of which should– I repeat should— ferry 240k people to and from the newly renovated Olympic park station every hour. The Commons transport select committee shares my skepticism. Earlier this year, they published a report criticising the ODA's draft Olympic travel plan for "not exhibiting any sense of urgency" and being "vague." A highly budgeted, non-elected government quango that's slow and mellow? Who'd a thunk it?
Remember their Lisa Simpson logo? I rest my case. This Labour disaster will be fun to watch (or not watch...Olympic ratings are declining sharply).
While I am no friend of the ban-cars lobby, I should point out that the Sydney Olympics in 2000 also did not allow cars to any of the venues (not even taxis). Instead they built a metro station near the main stadium and everything worked just fine. Of course, if this will work for London will depend on how much work they do to their public transport system.
This is my one, big gripe about car-banning. I'm a big, pinko, liberal, socialist greenie but there are/always will be exceptions to car-banning for the "privileged" however they may be defined (whether rich, connected, dignitaries). Sacrifice/inconvenience should be borne equally by everyone....so even olympic officals should walk, bike or take the bus like us plebs. Until then, I'm happy wasting my time in traffic alongside everyone else.
What the devil does pinko mean?