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Olympic road lanes come into force
Drivers will have to contend with Olympic traffic-only routes as 30 miles of Games lanes come into operation.
And those "ordinary" motorists going into the Games lanes face fines of £130, while release fees for impounded vehicles could be £200.
The Games lanes run alongside existing lanes in London and will be used by authorised "Olympic Family" vehicles. These include vehicles used by athletes, Olympic officials and VIPs with the lanes coming into force at 6am, with 1,300 vehicles an hour expected to use them.
Most lanes will stay in place from 6am to midnight on each day up to Tuesday August 14 and will form part of a 109-mile Olympic Route Network (ORN) around London.
In recent days, teams of engineers have been working to put up signs and change some road layouts in preparation for the implementation of the ORN and the lanes.
During the period of the lanes being operational, some turns have been banned, some bus lanes suspended, some bus and coach stops have been adjusted and some pedestrian crossings will not be operational.
In addition to central London, there will be road restrictions around the sailing venues at Weymouth and Portland in Dorset, around the rowing at Eton Dorney in Berkshire and around the mountain biking venue at Hadleigh Farm in Essex. Also, some roads will be closed for the men's and women's marathons and the biking events.
Games lanes will generally be on the off-side (outside) lane. Cyclists will be able to use the near-side (kerbside) Games lanes but not the off-side ones, while motorcyclists will be able to use some of the near-side lanes. But taxis and private hire vehicles will not be able to use the lanes, nor will buses be allowed in most lanes. The Games lanes will also be out of bounds to disabled drivers who are Blue Badge holders.
The introduction of the lanes led to morning rush-hour delays on Wednesday. There were queues on the M4 in west London, while on the nearby A4 there were jams in Chiswick. There were also hold-ups for motorists on the A12 at the Lea Interchange in east London and at the A13 Canning Town Flyover.
Kevin Delaney, former head of traffic at the Metropolitan Police and now head of road safety at the Institute of Advanced Motorists, said: "London's roads are at capacity or close to it throughout the day. If you reduce the capacity for ordinary traffic on the Games routes up to 50%, then you have to reduce the amount of cars by the same amount."