This summer, we will learn whether London's bid to host the 2012 Olympics has been successful. The blueprint as published last year contained much that was admirable. There was a spirit of energy and verve, a real sense of celebrating the city and an evident desire to leave a legacy of first-rate sports facilities, transport and housing. Now we understand that transport plans have been revised to improve coach access, which will necessitate covering a large area of the Hackney Marshes with tarmac. Many playing fields will be lost.
This is a sacrifice too far. Too many city sports fields have already been claimed for building or roads in recent years. It is also a promise - given by the Mayor of London - betrayed. No more green space should be lost. The alternatives must be reviewed. In the unlikely event that none is judged practicable, the British Olympic Committee should be required to make a downpayment sufficient to restore the fields, not within the two years it has proposed, but as soon as the Games are over.
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