London Prepares for Crowds

The Olympics are nearly upon us, and London is already getting ready for the expected deluge of visitors. Peter Hendy, Transport for London commissioner, told the Guardian that the capital would be much busier than usual from July 15 onwards, well before the opening ceremony on July 27. He said counterparts from previous host cities had warned him: "Don't underestimate how many people will come, even without tickets, just to be in London."

The Olympic route network will close some roads and prioritise Games traffic. Here are Hendy's suggestions about what days will be the busiest in terms of overall congestion:

July 14-15 "The Olympic family – athletes, officials, world media – start to arrive. From 15 July, London will be much busier than normal."

July 20 "The torch relay arrives – and the party's on." Over the next week the Olympic torch travels through 33 boroughs.

July 26 The torch relay comes to central London.

July 27 The opening ceremony.

July 28-29 The cycling road race will close roads in south-west London for parts of the weekend.

August 3 "The day for all the venues." This Friday has the potential for the most widespread traffic congestion.

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