Page last updated at 16:03 GMT, Monday, 26 March 2012 17:03 UK

Government warned over using Olympic Games lanes

Labour has warned the government there will be public outrage if ministers use Olympic Games lanes in London during the summer.

An Olympic Route Network will be put in place for athletes, officials, VIPs and media to ensure reliable journey times for those involved in making the Games happen.

Host cities of the Games are required to introduce these road networks but the plans have sparked anger among residents and businesses in the capital.

Raising the matter at question time in the Lords on 26 March 2012, shadow transport spokesman Lord Davies of Oldham sought assurances that government ministers would not "trespass" in the lanes.

"I can think of nothing more offensive to the ordinary Londoner than to see these lanes reserved for athletes in order to fulfil their Olympic obligations being patronised by government ministers."

Labour peer Lord Berkeley told peers there were press reports "of hundreds if not thousands of the Olympic family, which I think is probably the International Olympic Committee and all the hangers on".

"Each member-state participating will send a senior minister and their entourage and that's before we get to our own ministers," he added, warning that the public would get "very, very angry" if they were all allowed to use the special lanes.

His party colleague, Lord Tomlinson, said privileged access to the lanes would be "found repugnant by many of the British people".

Transport Minister Earl Attlee declined to answer whether the government planned to make use of the special lanes.

He said the road network was a "key component" of London's successful Olympics bid, adding that the plans had been approved by the previous government.

"The Games lane will only be put in place where there are two lanes and only as long as is necessary," he told peers.

Lord Attlee added that athletes, technical officials, media covering the Games, the Olympic and Paralympic family and Games partners would be allowed to use the lanes.


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