James May calls for London transport changes

Top Gear presenter James May has suggested it is elitist that Olympic Games sponsors will be able to use exclusive car lanes during the competition.

He told the London Evening Standard that it will make a strong statement if London can tweak its transport infrastructure so as to handle the massive influx of visitors next summer, but labelled the use of VIP lanes by corporate sponsors “cocky”.

There will be a huge number of people travelling between hotels and event spaces over the course of the showpiece occasion, with May noting that the overall transport strategy should be to improve the experience for the many, not the few.

The lanes were proposed to allow athletes and other dignitaries to get to different areas of the Games quickly, but the Top Gear presenter said: “If it’s the athletes OK, because they have to be at a peak state of readiness. If they are driven the last five miles to the arena in an electric BMW then fine. But if it’s the chairman of Barclays or Coca-Cola then they should either bloody well run there or go on a bicycle.”

This view was backed up by Islington Council leader Catherine West, according to the Islington Tribune, which reported her as saying that VIPs should use public transport just like everybody else whenever possible.

She pointed out that there are still a number of details that have yet to be confirmed with regards to the transport situation during the Games, so residents and visitors can expect to find out more when the issue has been finalised.