Athletes and officials were arriving at Heathrow today – as the opening of the first Olympics road lane caused confusion for motorists.
Around 335 athletes were due to arrive at Heathrow airport during the day, along with 1027 ‘Games Family’ members. Teams arriving include the USA, Russia, China, France, Japan and Canada.One athlete, American 400m hurdler Kerron Clement, immediately complained, via Twitter, that competitors were “sleepy, hungry and need to pee. Could we get to the Olympic Village please.”He added: “Um, so we’ve been lost on the road for 4hrs. Not a good first impression London.”
The influx of athetes came as the first Olympic Games Lane came into operation on the M4, which has only just opened following repairs.
Footage from the Sky News helicopter showed that motorists appeared confused about whether or not they were allowed in the lane, which is marked with a large symbol of the Olympics rings.Traffic caught in the lane made efforts to get back into non-Olympics lanes, causing tailbacks – despite a sign at the side of the road explaining that the Olympics lane was actually open to all traffic this morning.
Speaking about the Lanes on Sky News, London mayor Boris Johnson said: “Unless you have been living on Mars for the last couple of years you would have known that we have had to put in the Olympics route network.
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- Olympic countdown begins as athletes descend on Britain (itv.com)
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- Heathrow airport set to handle record numbers (utsandiego.com)