First of the Olympics Games Lanes comes into operation


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The Independent Online

The first of the Olympics Games Lanes comes into operation tomorrow - on the M4, which has only just reopened following repairs.

There have been fears that the work on the damaged flyover near junction 2 of the motorway in west London would not be completed in time for the Olympic traffic-only lane to be used.

But work was completed so that the closed stretch could be opened last Friday.

This first Games Lane is at the site of the previous M4 bus lane which operated for 3.5 miles between junctions 3 and 2 on the London-bound carriageway.

The M4 lane, which will be in operation between 5am and 10pm, is being introduced early to cope with the beginning of the big rush of Olympic arrivals starting tomorrow at nearby Heathrow airport.

The M4 is part of the Olympic Route Network (ORN) and provides an important access route for members of the "Games Family" including athletes, their officials and equipment arriving at Heathrow for their journey to the Olympic Village in Stratford, east London.

Around 80% of Games Family arrivals are expected to pass through this way.

Within the ORN are 30 miles of Games Lanes which will become operational on July 25 - two days before the Olympic opening ceremony.

The Games Lanes will be clearly marked and will operate alongside existing traffic. All road users will be able to go into the lanes when they are not in use overnight.

Those who stray into operational Games Lanes face a penalty charge of £130, while illegally parked vehicles will be removed to a pound and may incur a release fee of £200.