A memorable feature of the Soviet Union was the exclusive 'Zil Lane', reserved for communist VIPs to be swept past the traffic jams in their limousines. London will have its own version of Zil lanes in 2012 thanks to the Olympic Route Network, providing a fast link between the five star hotels of the West End and the main venues at Stratford and Greenwich. Roads which will have reserved lanes include the Embankment and the Blackwall Tunnel.
We have raised concerns about the proposed network of exclusive lanes in the past, but today news of more criticisms emerged - courtesy of the BBC. It appears that the police and the ambulance service have both expressed concerns about the effect on response times, indeed I recall the last time the proposal was discussed there was some doubt if even the emergency services will be allowed to use the reserved lanes.
The exclusive network was one of the conditions imposed on London before the games were awarded to us. Lanes will be available for competitors naturally and Olympic officials, but other VIPs and journalists will also benefit - no squeezing onto public transport for them...
The Olympics organisers are due to appear before the Assembly for questions in a few weeks and it's a sure bet that the Olympic Route Network will feature high on the agenda.