Friday, 20 July 2012

The Hassle of Olympics 2012

I have been asked by a number of 'bloggers' what effect the Olympics will have on people living in and around the London area.
Gosh, where do I begin?
This could be a long post but I will endeavour to keep it as short as possible!

Some views taken from inside the Westfield Shopping Mall in the rain about a week ago showing the stadium, some venues and masses of hospitality tents.
Even this trip did not run smoothly. We were unable to drive as one cannot park here until late September so had to take the train instead. Not so good with shopping to carry but less so, when over the train speaker system comes the message that "this train will not be stopping at our station due to station closure because of a security alert." So, do we get off one stop before or one stop after?? On our previous visit we had to leave the Mall for a while because of a security alert!

Where I can I will just use bullet points
Road closures

People asked to avoid central London altogether if journey not necessary

VIP lanes right across London for Olympic officials (There was an interesting photo on TV where on a 2 lane road one was a bus lane and one an Olympic lane. No sign to tell people that for the duration the bus lane could be used so there was confusion as to where to go!)

Bespoke cars for athletes and parking fees wavered

Re-phased traffic lights giving priority to Olympic traffic

Speed humps removed on some roads to give and easier ride

Some businesses  feel business will be crippled

Our son who works in central London and has to use the train that passes the Olympic village will have to work from home where possible and people who can are being urged to do this 

R.A.F planes and helicopters patrolling the skies

Ground to air missiles on rooftops

Royal Navy war ship on Thames

Restricted flying zones over venues and 'no-fly' spaces

McDonald's and Coca-Cola are sponsors so no other food and drink allowed in venues other than what is bought there

The biggest McDonald's on the planet is situated slap-bang in the middle of the Olympic park. The vast 2 storey restaurant will serve
1,200 customers per hour

McDonald's were unhappy that manual workers on building sites were wanting to bring in fish and chips for their lunch. Eventually they gave way and said it had to be fish and chips, chips bought alone  were not allowed

Health Protection Agency has set up what is being called, ' the biggest health survey-lance system in the world!' This will involve tracking information daily from surgeries, Twitter, Facebook etc., to prevent disease  sweeping the Olympics or indeed the country. The influx of visitors has begun as more than 14,000 athletes from 205 Olympic teams and 170 Paraplegic teams start arriving.

During the games an extra 4 million people are expected to visit the capital.

On the busiest day , August 4th, 700,000 spectators will be 
criss-crossing London to see events at 11 venues.

Cafes, burger vans and snack bars surrounding event areas will face spot checks while Olympic arenas are already being monitored for
Legionnaire's Disease.

Messages about personal hygiene will be visible throughout the games and British athletes have already been advised not to shake hands with anybody.

5,500 troops deployed to help with security

Local churches have pastoral teams to take care of and/or pray for those needing same

Alan and I will certainly be staying away from the event areas until late September but we are sure to be affected by the extra volume of traffic on our roads
I personally  am not interested in spectator sport and shall only watch the opening and closing ceremonies

I will however be going to watch the Olympic Torch pass through my town on Sunday before going on holiday on Tuesday to stay in a very pretty village in Suffolk just one and a half hours away
The good news is that the Jet Stream is on it's way North and we are forecast to have warm and sunny weather in the 80's f. for this coming week.

I will be taking my lap-top away and will hopefully get to catch up on visiting my blogging friends
Life has been particularly busy for various reasons including having someone who we had not seen since the early 80's staying over the last 3 weeks

Have a good weekend everyone


Anonymous said...

We drove into London on Sunday and noticed the two lane (bus and Olympic) puzzle. I am so glad I don't have to go in. Husband sees clients there regularly, I predict chaos!

Vee said...

Well that is a lot of ways that you'll be affected that I had never even considered. I hope that it won't be completely intolerable, though it sounds as if there's an invasion about to take place.

Jenny said...

We could add strikes to that if they go ahead. Hubby is having to change his work start time for about 6 weeks, but thankfully we have a two week holiday in the middle which will help. Hope you have a good week away.
Jenny <><

Needled Mom said...

I can remember the hassle when the Olympics were in L.A. and that was BEFORE all of the extreme security measures. I would be staying away too.

Have a great holiday. I hope the weather is as good as they forecast it to be.

Sara at Come Away With Me said...

Wow Barbara, it all sounds like a real hassle for the residents! The preparations have certainly been's the ground to air missiles on rooftops that surprised me the most.

elizabeth said...

Oh dear, oh dear!
I so want/wanted the Olympics to be a wonderful celebration of international co-operation with lots of lovely young people getting together in friendly competition....!
You echo what our daughter has says about the traffic chaos and disruption. Luckily she is able to walk to work --Spitalfields to Soho.

I'm really horrified about McDonalds and CocaCola --not exactly good food choices.

Needless to say, the American uniforms were made in China.
Now I sound like a grumpy old lady.....

Let's hope when the sun shines and the games begin we all cheer up and find things to cheer for......
well, hoping so anyway!

Cheri said...

All I can say is Wow!

Balisha said...

Thanks, Barbara for giving us this look into London. We have been so looking forward to the Olympics...I never realized the problems the games could cause for the people of the host country.
I'll be thinking about you while watching.

Scriptor Senex said...

I'm somewhat glad I'm currently 600 miles away on the Isle of Lewis. And here I shall stay iuntil it is all over...

But I do love the opening ceremony!

Midwest to Midlands said...

What an interesting and in some ways alarming post. So sad that such security measures have to be taken not to mention the monopolies by food companies. Hopefully when the Olympics start it will be more about celebrating the athletes and the friendships as the Olympics was intended.