Record fines of £200 for cyclists using Olympic VIP Lanes

Last July, news emerged of £200 fines for motorists and cyclists caught using Olympic Lanes. The news today, is that this disruption could continue for up to 100 days from June to September.


A TfL consultation is currently taking place where it is possible to see the roads in London affected by the Olympic Route Network (ORN).

The shock of the news is of the sheer length of the disruption. After all, many of the VIPs and athletes will already be housed in the Olympic Park. However, events will be taking place all over London. Such as mountain biking in Hadleigh Farm, Essex.

More bad news

The Olympic Lanes will also effect delivery trucks which will need to complete more deliveries between midnight and 6am. As well as bus routes which will need to be redirected during the games. Not least of those affected are pedestrians, who will be losing 51 zebra crossings.

Why ban cyclists?

The reasons quoted for banning cyclists include making carriageways too narrow and hazardous. Nothing too new to seasoned London cyclists. Of course, the danger of having to merge with the remaining congested traffic isn’t a particularly comforting thought.

How will everyone else get to the events?

It is estimated that 25,000 marketing partners, 28,000 journalists along with 18,000 athletes and 11,000 officials will be transported along the Olympic routes.

The question of how the rest of London will reach the events has yet to be answered. Provision for cycling at the games has also come under criticism. The Olympic Park has a mere 2,200 bike parking spaces. Which would accommodate a tiny fraction of visitors. Additional space will be provided in locations including Victoria Park. Which is a short walk from the Olympic Village.

Organisers expect around 5% of visitors to arrive by bike.

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As seen on The Guardian, BBC and The Independent.

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17 Responses to Record fines of £200 for cyclists using Olympic VIP Lanes

  1. Alex 13/06/2011 at 10:38 pm #

    Look, I have no problem with the idea that competitors and officials need to get to and from the venues. No-one wants Usain Bolt to miss the 100m because he is stuck in traffic on the A12. However out of the 82,000 users suggested here Journalists and (even worse) “Marketing Partners” account for a staggering 65% of that traffic.

    Its like something out of the ex Soviet union, where people with the right connections and enough cash can cruise past the poor people in their own private lanes.

    I live on one of these routes, am I going to get a £200 fine for cycling to my house, or is my front door off limits for 3 months so the glorious “Marketing Partners” don’t miss their pre event champagne?

  2. Alastair 13/06/2011 at 10:42 pm #

    Frankly, it’s disgraceful and undemocratic. £200 for cars disobeying: understandable. Bikes? Ridiculous.

  3. Ian 13/06/2011 at 11:04 pm #

    And how do they think this is enforceable? CCTV’s hardly going to capture my bike ‘number plate’.

  4. Chris 13/06/2011 at 11:17 pm #

    Maybe a critical mass of cyclists riding along these lanes as a protest then?

  5. Rajiv, Going Going Bike 13/06/2011 at 11:33 pm #

    It has already been suggested to us when we put up the Telegraph story on this, that some sort of protest should be made nearer to the Games. Even Cabbies could join in protest

  6. Iain 14/06/2011 at 5:09 am #

    So the “green” games are a case of do as we say not as we do! Loads of extra trains, tubes and DLR services, I presume the same from the buses (Assuming there are some roads open!) and if there’s anywhere left to cycle, go by bike so Joe Public can get to the events and get between them (most events easily reachable by public transport – even the road race). Meanwhile the prawn sandwich brigade (Who, lets be honest didn’t get their tickets in the ballot at vast prices) get to zoom along clear lanes. Presumably these fines will be dished out like the ones they send for driving in bus lanes, and we all know how great a deterrent that is (either that or TFL has some lovely 4 seater buses from Germany…)

    If the corporate suits want to get to the games quickly, stay in Stratford, that’s why they’re building an olympic village there (there are clues in the name!) Even the USA have plans to be based on the DLR (whether they’ll use it is another matter) If TFL had any brains (or balls) they’d ban cars from the olympic site and use buses for these dignatries (even The Queen uses scheduled trains and flights these days, so I’m sure some corporate hangers on will survive.)

  7. Mike 14/06/2011 at 9:15 am #

    As usual the Olympics, taking place in 2012 in ‘classless’ Britain, is just showing up the difference between the haves and the havenots.

    But, again as usual, TfL and the Olympic committee are missing the main point (no surprise there)…the only people who absolutely need to be at the Olympics are the athletes, and perhaps the officials. They should be accommodated in the Olympic village, or if their event is outside Stratford, in the nearest hotels.

    The ‘hangers-on’ such as the press corp and quaintly named media partners (ie money men) can, and should be made to, afford to arrive by helicopter and if they can’t, they’re obviously not far enough up the food chain for anyone to miss them.

    Alternatively, and I’m surprised Boris’ Buffoons haven’t thought of it, they could move the entire population of Stratford, Leyton, Leytonstone, Walthamstow etc out into transit camps and house everyone in the vacant properties. I’m sure no-one in those areas would mind making the sacrifice for such a prestigious event. Probably.

  8. Alexander 16/06/2011 at 8:47 am #

    Most of the Olympic route network seems to be on big busy roads that aren’t ideal for cyclists anyway.

    I’ll buy a drink for the first person to stop complaining and put together a map of nice alternative routes that cyclists can use during the Games.

  9. Ian 16/06/2011 at 4:01 pm #

    Since Visa probably ran a little wealth check into the Olympic ticket ballot I suspect there’s little worry as to how the poor will get to the games. Of course it’s backfired as most of the poorer Londoner could have got to the park easily, whereas most rich ticket holder live on the other side of the city and are hopelessly addicted to driving some of the more infeasibly large motor vehicles on the road.

  10. Caroline 17/06/2011 at 10:02 am #

    I find it interesting that the Olympics are being seen as an excellent time for TfL/local authorities to promote cycling as a way to avoid the crazy crowds on public transport, yet then manage to find a way to punish cyclists and force new cyclists having a go during this time into the middle of the roads or get fined. Would have been a real opportunity to get people cycling and then hopefully the legacy of that would have been more cycle commuters after the games too. Absurd.

  11. Mark 17/06/2011 at 10:05 am #

    hang on a sec, who are these “vip” lanes for?
    People actually competitng?
    Im not being funny but if im taking part in an olympic event im not going to waste my energy or risk getting hit by a car by cycling to the games!
    Or maybe I have misunderstood?!

  12. officeHoward 17/06/2011 at 12:14 pm #

    seems quite a large fine, given the harmless nature of cycling,

    (esp. when compared with fines for rather more serious driving offences)

  13. Paul 17/06/2011 at 12:16 pm #

    Traffic management was of the generally agreed successes of the 2010 Winter games in Vancouver, where I live, particularly the reduction in private vehicle traffic and increase in use of transit and alternatives. The feared/forecast traffic nightmare just didn’t happen.

    Excepting a few short routes more narrowly managed for security reasons, the Olympic lanes here were specifically available to cyclists, as part of the overall promotion of alternative transport. And year round, lanes which are closed to private vehicle traffic are almost all open for transit AND cyclists.

  14. PaulM 17/06/2011 at 12:56 pm #

    Alexander, you have missed the point. While it is true that the Zil lanes will not be the traffic lanes which cyclists would typically want to use (the offside lane on Upper/Lower Thames St, for example) there will be a massive displacement effect which will put more, and more aggressive, motor traffic on other roads including quieter roads which motorists will try to rat-run on. You only have to look at what happens when, say, Strand closes due to a hotel fire – traffic chaos for miles around.

    The whole thing stinks. My employers among many others as Marketing Partners will be abel to whisk their corporate hospitality guests to the games from their Park Lane hotels along these lanes, to occupy the best seats while Londoners who bid for £thousands of tickets got precisely zip and, in the finest traditions of sports corporate hospitality, I’ll wager they’ll spend most of the time in their hospitality suites able to watch the event – on television, like all those who couldn’t get into the stadium itself!

    International sport is irredeemably corrupt, which is what happens when money gets into it. It’s why bikes get so little consideration – there is a lot more money in cars.

  15. Georgie 18/06/2011 at 11:55 pm #

    Protest… I’m in.
    I commute from Stratford to central London. = pot holes, constant road works, construction traffic that make monster trucks look like milk floats not to mention all the uninsured drivers in the area. it’s amazing so many cyclists survive the morning rush hour. Now they’re saying we’re banned from Olympics Lanes!! ??? Let’s just hope we can make them change their mind before someone gets seriously hurt making way for all the VIPS who were given tickets.

  16. Alan 22/02/2012 at 10:48 am #

    I’m up for a trip down from Yorkshire to a Critical mass in the Olympic Lanes and am going to float the idea to others well in advance

    It would be good to make it BIG (though could also backfire, I could imagine groups (i.e. more than 1) of cyclists being detained upon disembarking at London train stations (the police WOULD be ordered to make 100% sure there was no disruption)

    Of course people could always rent a Ken Livingstone Bike (no great fan of Red Ken but he thought of it before Boris!)

  17. Mark 22/02/2012 at 2:10 pm #

    i love the idea of cyclists and cabbies coming together in universal critical mass.
    cyclists “might” cycle close to cabs and their their reg plates might not be visible from cctv!!

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