Olympic Games Lane Opens On M4

Olympic Lane passing Chiswick on A4 becomes operational July 25

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The Olympics ‘Games Lane’ came into operation today (Monday, July 16) eastbound along the M4, but the Olympic lane along the A4 passing Chiswick will not become operational until July 25th.

The Games Lane is currently in operation between Junctions 3 and 2 and was formerly the M4 bus lane.

The Hogarth Roundabout was closed for about half an hour during the day due to a minor accident. There was significant traffic congestion for some time and there were also reports of traffic congestion along Chiswick High Road.

Transport for London said the roundabout was closed from 1.30 p.m. until around 2 p.m. and traffic then returned to normal levels.However, congestion continued even after the A4 reopened westbound.

A TfL spokesman said residents in the Chiswick area can continue to use the lane designated as the ‘Olympics Lane’ locally on the A4 until it comes into force on July 25th.

The new Olympics Lane on the M4 was in operation between 6.30am and 11.40am and the Highways Agency said during that period there was no discernable change in usual traffic levels into London. It then came into operation again from 16.50 for a number of hours to facilitate arrivals of Olympic athletes and others in their entourage from Heathrow.

The M4 Games Lane can be used by:
* Members of the Games family including athletes, their officials and equipment arriving at Heathrow for their journey to the Olympic Village in Stratford. Some 80% of Games family arrivals are expected to pass through this way.
* Emergency Vehicles: A vehicle being used for police, ambulance or fire and rescue authority purposes.
* Licensed taxis
* Special Forces: a vehicle being driven subject to the orders of a member of the armed forces of the Crown.
* A vehicle being used for the purpose of Incident Management, e.g. Traffic Officer vehicle or incident support vehicle.

The M4 is part of the Olympic Route Network (ORN) and provides an important access route for members of the Games family. The lane will operate from today during the periods when most of the Games family will arrive. These are between 16 July and 4 August, and between 22 and 29 August inclusive.

The Highways Agency said it will be clearly signed, and activated when needed for periods between 5am and 10pm. Outside the operational periods, the lane can be used by general traffic.

There is a penalty for using the lane at the wrong time.

Drivers are reminded that a 7.5 tonne weight restriction exists between junctions 3 and 2 in both directions as a result of ongoing repair work on the Boston Manor Viaduct. Olympic buses are exempt from the weight restriction from today (Monday).

July 16, 2012