Newspaper article The Evening Standard (London, England)

Drivers Fume as Cycling Test Event Leads to 'Gridlock' across London

Newspaper article The Evening Standard (London, England)

Drivers Fume as Cycling Test Event Leads to 'Gridlock' across London

Article excerpt

Byline: Mark Prigg and Matthew Beard

TRANSPORT for London today admitted there were "lessons to be learned" after an Olympic test event led to traffic problems across London.

Motorists complained of "transport chaos" caused by the London-Surrey Cycle Classic, which followed the same route as the 2012 road race.

The disruption offered a glimpse of the challenges TfL and Games organisers face during the Olympics. Next year there will be extra pressure on roads as 60 miles of lanes are reserved for Olympic vehicles as part of a 100-mile network of restrictions prioritising athletes, media and VIPs. Other Olympic "road events" such as triathlon, the marathon and race-walking are expected to add to the strain. Sky news presenter Eamonn Holmes led protests yesterday angrily tweeting: "Big tailbacks on A3 and A3 approaches to M25 and in other direction to Wimbledon.

Due to flamin (sic) Olympic bikes. Keep sport in a stadium."

Top cyclists, including Britain's Mark Cavendish, who won the race, rode from The Mall in central London to Box Hill in Surrey and back.

About 1,400 roads in London and Surrey were shut for most of the day with closures from 4am until 4pm.

Areas affected included Westminster, Chelsea, Fulham, Richmond, Putney, Kingston and Hampton Court.

Motorists complained that journeys of just a few miles took up to two hours and that roads were still closed long after cyclists had passed through.

Alan Ashworth, 56, from Bromley, left his car after hitting gridlock in King's Road in Chelsea at about 2.15pm and walked two miles to work in Kensington. …

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