Newham Mayor Robin Wales’s anger over Olympic road closures

Road closures planned during the Olympics have left Newham Mayor Sir Robin Wales furious at Transport for London, calling the initiative “unacceptably poor”.

Road closures planned during the Olympics have left Newham Mayor Sir Robin Wales furious at Transport for London, calling the initiative “unacceptably poor”.

The Olympic Road Network (ORN) is a grid of roads through the city which will be off-limits to residents and public transport during the 2012 Games so that 82,000 VIPs, athletes, officials and media staff can travel to and from the Olympic site traffic-free.

Sir Robin Wales wrote a letter to London Mayor Boris Johnson complaining about the lack of warning about the plans and poor communication to Newham residents.

He wrote: “Residents and local businesses will feel rightly let down by this unacceptably poor initiative.


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“I am concerned that vital council and other services will be adversely affected, including some that support our most vulnerable services.” The network will be 108 miles long and will cost approximately �25 million to reserve, including 56 miles of Games Lanes which residents will be fined �200 for using without permission.

Sir Robin also expressed his frustration at the “absence of detail” in TfL’s plans. He wrote: “The overall picture remains unclear. Traffic modelling information is arriving in a sporadic, fragmented and piecemeal fashion.

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“Newham has strong and extensive networks for engaging with the local community and I have offered these to your TfL colleagues.

“It seems to me, however, that there is a lack of either will or capacity within the organisation to deliver appropriate engagement.”

The Mayor has not been the only one angered by the road closures. Licensed cab drivers face losing thousands.

pounds in fares, threatened to gridlock the city in protest.

A TfL spokesperson said: “Since March we have been writing to residents and businesses affected by the ORN and holding local drop in centres.

“This engagement will continue over the next year so that those living and working along the routes are aware of their impact and are able to plan accordingly.”

However, Sir Robin Wales implores the London Mayor to improve communication with Newham residents so that they “will enjoy - rather than endure - the 2012 Games.”

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