Drivers in London are being warned to stay out of special Games Lanes from Monday, or face penalties of up to £130.

The 30 miles of lanes which display the Olympic rings (pictured, right) are part of a package of measures as the capital gears up to host the Olympic and Paralympic Games.

While the Olympics opening ceremony is on 27 July, the first Games Lane comes into effect on the M4 near Heathrow on Monday, to accommodate athletes, officials and media arriving in London.

Other lanes will not come into force until 25 July, although many roads are already marked.

Only vehicles registered with Games organisers Locog can use them.

Games Lanes will be monitored by automatic numberplate recognition cameras, which will watch for unauthorised vehicles or other breaches of traffic rules. Penalty charges of up to £130 will be issued if unregistered vehicles enter.

Cyclists have also been banned from using the lanes, although Transport for London says the lanes are unsuitable for cyclists "as 95% of these lanes are offside and will be busy with Games traffic".

The lanes are part of the 109-mile Olympic Route Network (ORN), which also comes into force on 25 July.

All traffic can use the ORN, which links venues with the Olympic Park at Stratford and central London hotels, apart from the 30 miles of Games Lanes.

The lanes will be in force:

  • For the Olympics. From 25 July to 14 August, other than the M4 restrictions that start on Monday.
  • For the Paralympics. A smaller set of lanes will be in operation from 27 August until 11 September.

There are no Olympic lanes in other hosts towns and cities.

Parking restrictions

Roads in the ORN may have extra parking restrictions, changes to traffic flow or signals to speed up Olympic traffic. Drivers who park or stop illegally on the ORN could also face a £130 fine, and a further £200 fee if their vehicle is towed away.

These are the normal fines, but councils will have more opportunities to issue them.

Dates and times of the restrictions vary locally, so it is worth studying local signs carefully or checking ahead.

The ORN also includes roads (where other events take place) in:

  • Weymouth and Portland in Dorset
  • Leigh-on-Sea in Essex
  • Windsor and Eton in Berkshire
  • Egham in Surrey.

It does not apply around Olympic football venues in the rest of England, Scotland or Wales.

Temporary parking restrictions are also being brought in around venues and across a large portion of east and south-east London, stretching from Leytonstone to Blackheath. These will see new controlled parking zones created and existing ones expanded and extended to last up to seven days each week, during both Olympics and Paralympics.

Once again, drivers who break these rules could face a penalty of up to £130, levied by local councils.

Olympic ticketholders have been urged to use public transport to get to events. Each ticket comes with a free Travelcard for use on the entire Tube network and the special Javelin shuttle trains between the Olympic Park and St Pancras, as well as buses and other rail services across the capital.

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