No London car ban during Olympics

2011-10-12 20:52

London - Mayor Boris Johnson reassured motorists on Wednesday they would not be banned from driving in the centre of London during next summer's Olympics as part of measures to keep congestion down.

"I think it would be crazy [to do so]," he told the London Assembly.

"I give you categorical assurance that I won't do it."

He was responding to a report in London's Evening Standard newspaper which claimed the International Olympic Committee had privately said the city needed alternative traffic plans such as a city centre driving ban to keep traffic off the roads.

"As I understand it, there is no basis whatever for this report. No such suggestion has been made to me," he said in response to a question put by lawmaker Dee Doocey.

Congestion on London's narrow roads has been a constant concern for the IOC, and designated lanes will be set aside to ferry athletes, officials, sponsors and the media to the venues on time.

Transport for London is also urging employers to allow staff to work different hours, to work from home, or to take their holidays during the Games to help reduce traffic by 60% in certain predicted travel hotspots.

Nobody at the IOC was immediately available for comment.

Johnson said the committee had commented recently that it thought London's road network would be capable of coping with the impact of the Games.

"So we are a bit mystified about where this is coming from," he added.