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Dated: 02 May 2011

Could We See A London Devoid of Cars During the Olympics?


The deadline for ticket applications has come and gone. Now, people across the country are eagerly waiting to find out whether they will be attending any of the London Olympic events. Already, many will be planning their trips – banking on the fact that their applications will be accepted. 

Not many will be contemplating the fact that during their trip cars could be at a minimum in the UK’s capital, we wager. That is, if the ‘powers-that-be’ listen to the calls – from environmental experts - for a ban on cars in London during the Olympics.

The main reason behind the calls for the ban comes from the fear that a rise in pollution could see the London and the UK landed with a £175 million fine.
At present, the amounts of ‘small particle matter’ are above what is deemed to be the legal limit. If this is not reduced before the year’s end, London could receive a £300 million fine.

There is also a clause which states that the International Olympic Committee has the right to withhold a quarter of the broadcasting revenue if pollution levels are greater than the EU’s recommended levels at the time of the Games.
The total revenue has been estimated to be around £700 million. So, pollution could see the UK lose out on a lot of money next year.

However, so far the Department for Transport has ruled out the banning of cars during the Games.

Speaking with the London Evening Standard, Simon Birkett, a member of the Campaign for Clean Air for London, said: "The Mayor should ban all the most polluting vehicles from the most polluted part of London during the Olympics and thereafter.

“By doing so, he would ensure London delivers on its promise to deliver the greenest Games ever."

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