REUTERS

Upset over being excluded from the lanes, some 200 London cab drivers blocked traffic in Parliament Square.

Over 200 of London's iconic black cabs blocked traffic in Parliament Square for two hours Tuesday in protest over the controversial Olympic Route Network along the city's roadways. The lanes are intended for use only by Olympic athletes, officials, and sponsors. Anyone else who tries to use them will receive a $203 fine.

The special lanes have already contributed to traffic issues, and some cab drivers are claiming they will leave town during the Games altogether. One has already taken to converting his taxi into a makeshift hotel.

Olympics 2012 bug
London gets ready for the Summer Games See full coverage

Bob Crow, general secretary of the Rail Maritime and Transport (RMT) union, which has a number of cab drivers in its membership, told the Telegraph that "cab drivers are now being kicked in the teeth by Olympics chiefs over the VIP lanes and the entire Olympics transport strategy.”

In a statement to local media, the director of London Taxi and Private Hire, John Mason, tried to reassure drivers and passengers alike that Transport for London has secured concessions for taxis, including the use of turns along the Olympic Route Network that were initially banned for all traffic except buses, as well as access to many curbside Games lanes for passenger pick-up .

In today's Telegraph, Mason made it clear that the organization is still on board with the arrangement, saying, "[w]e strongly urge taxi drivers to ignore calls to join these unnecessary protests and instead show why they are regularly voted the best in the world."

The Olympic Route Network will be fully operational two days before the July 27 Opening Ceremony.

About the Author

Most Popular

  1. photo: Developer James Rouse visiting Harborplace in Baltimore's Inner Harbor.
    Life

    What Happened to Baltimore’s Harborplace?

    The pioneering festival marketplace was among the most trendsetting urban attractions of the last 40 years. Now it’s looking for a new place in a changed city.

  2. Design

    Why Amsterdam’s Canal Houses Have Endured for 300 Years

    A different kind of wealth distribution in 17th-century Amsterdam paved the way for its quintessential home design.

  3. photo: San Diego's Trolley
    Transportation

    Out of Darkness, Light Rail!

    In an era of austere federal funding for urban public transportation, light rail seemed to make sense. Did the little trains of the 1980s pull their own weight?

  4. Equity

    What ‘Livability’ Looks Like for Black Women

    Livability indexes can obscure the experiences of non-white people. CityLab analyzed the outcomes just for black women, for a different kind of ranking.

  5. Equity

    How Poor Americans Get Exploited by Their Landlords

    American landlords derive more profit from renters in low-income neighborhoods, researchers Matthew Desmond and Nathan Wilmers find.

×