Row over cyclist ban in Olympic Games lanes

Apologies to non-Londoners who are sick of Olympic chatter, but this one does seem a bit strange.

Cyclists are to be banned from 80% of Olympic Games lanes – many of which have been converted from, you guessed it, bus and cycle lanes. There seems something ironic about organising an event all about activity and sport, and then making it far more difficult to use the one form of transport that gives people a good workout.
The Olympic authorities say it is for "safety reasons". Sorry, how is banning cyclists from quiet lanes and making them jostle with trucks, buses and cars in traffic jams safer? The argument is that Olympic lanes tend to be in the outside lane and cyclists apparently aren't bright enough to cross a lane of traffic to get to them.

The Environmental Transport Association has dismissed the argument. Director Andrew Davis, said: "Transport planners have wrongly assumed that the best place for bicycles on busy roads is hugging the gutter, but experienced cyclists know that the safest place to overtake slow-moving traffic is down the outside - slap bang where the Games Lanes are."

One has to wonder if this is really about safety of cyclists or the convenience of Olympic bigwigs who might be delayed for a minute or two by some local on a bicycle – and, perish the thought, one that has not even bought an Olympic ticket!
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