Newspaper article The Evening Standard (London, England)

Olympic Athletes Fly in as VIP Lanes Bemuse Motorists; 'Lost on Road for 4hrs. Not a Good First Impression'

Newspaper article The Evening Standard (London, England)

Olympic Athletes Fly in as VIP Lanes Bemuse Motorists; 'Lost on Road for 4hrs. Not a Good First Impression'

Article excerpt

Byline: Matthew Beard Olympics Editor

THE Olympics truly arrived in London today as thousands of athletes and officials touched down at Heathrow airport and the first dedicated Games lanes for official vehicles came into force.

Teams from about 30 nations including the US, Australia, Italy, Russia and China flew into the capital, many heading straight for the Stratford athletes' village, which opened this morning.

Meanwhile motorists were getting to grips with the new rules of the roads with a new "VIP lane" opening on the M4 link from Heathrow.

Despite some glitches, the airport dubbed the "Gateway to the Games" was coping well with the busiest day in its history with 236,955 passengers expected today.

Nick Cole, head of Olympic and Paralympic planning at airport owners BAA, said: "We are expecting more passengers to travel through Heathrow today than on any day in the airport's history.

"We have spent seven years preparing for the Games challenge. …

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