A serious accident on the M4 caused delays during rush hour as the first working day of London 2012 got under way.
With regular commuters and Games traffic combining on the capital’s roads for the first time, all eyes were focused on how London’s transport networks would cope.
Although tube and main line rail services operated well overall during the morning, there were some delays on the road network, with a section of the London-bound M4 between junction five at Langley in Berkshire and junction 4b near Heathrow airport having to be closed.
Long queues built up on the motorway before it was reopened, with London-bound motorists delayed for up to an hour.
There were also the expected disruptions nearer to some of the Games venues, such as on the westbound M4 stretch near Eton Dorney, which is where the rowing events are taking place.
Meanwhile, some delays were also reported at some of the Games lanes sites, such as the A40 and the Canning Town Flyover.
Paul Watters, the AA’s head of road policy, said that although the Games was always going to present a challenge, he feels most Londoners have listened to advice to reduce the impact on the roads.
“The high profile media campaign by the ODA and TFL about travel during the Olympics has been very effective. So much so we have had drivers reluctant to enter ‘Games Lanes’ even when message signs at the roadside say they can.
“We’ve also had commuter traffic levels down a bit so people are clearly heading advice. That said we always knew it would be difficult, but hopefully not chaos for London drivers. “
Watters urged anyone thinking about driving into London over the course of the Games to reconsider their plans, but said the ‘get ahead of the games’ website can help those making unavoidable journeys to plan ahead.
He added: “This working week of the Olympics will challenge the transport system and inevitably there will be congestion around venues and on the ORN – we urge drivers to watch for message signs at the start of the ‘Games Lanes’. Unlike last week most of these will be operation this week.”
The rail network is believed to have coped well with the increased traffic, although a broken-down train did cause disruption to Stansted Express and Greater Anglia services to and from Liverpool Street station.
On Sunday Transport for London (TfL) warned Londoners that London Bridge station would be extremely busy on Monday and platforms 1-6 will be exit only from 6pm until 10pm to minimise congestion.
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