The road network has also been banned for private hire cars, in a bid to make the lanes clear for international sports officials, athletes and the media, which will also cause chaos for people who live in London.
It is likely that cab fares will increase if the move for banning taxis goes ahead. An executive at the Licensed Taxi Drivers’ Association (LTDA), which represents nine thousand cabbies, said “We will have to deal with the customer’s frustration as there will be a massive problem getting people where they want to go. Prices will soar as we’ll be stuck in jams”.
Even though Transport for London, which operates the lanes, has offered pick-up and drop-off points at the Olympic Game’s Venues, cab drivers say because the lanes will be restricted to official vehicles only, they will be unable to reach them.
Taxi drivers are also in dispute over restrictions such as bans of U-turns and right-hand turns on key routes. The LTDA caused gridlock three years ago over a dispute with private hire cabs and will consider the same action if their demands are not met.
The traffic restrictions including the phasing of traffic lights, ban on turns, suspension of pedestrian crossings and parking bays, form part of the £25 million Olympic Route Network and will be exclusively used by eighty two thousand members of the Olympic family and emergency vehicles on call. Unofficial vehicles will face £200 fines if they choose to use the lanes.
The main hotspot of the Olympic Games lane network will be the roads linking the Olympic Park to the hotels in Park Lane. With the ban on cab drivers and taxis with private hire insurance using these roads, they may lose potential business from customers. These restrictions will mean huge parts of London may also become no go areas for anyone wishing to use them.