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Works starts tonight (Fri) on the final stage to make sure the Olympic lanes across London are ready to begin operation next Wednesday—two days before the London 2012 Opening Ceremony.

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The lanes are being kept clear for Olympic officials, athletes and world’s media.

Drivers are being barred from using the controversial lanes from 6am till midnight from Wednesday onwards (July 25). They face £130 fines if they park or stray into the lanes.

Businesses in Wapping on the Thames waterfront east of Tower Bridge protested when the Olympics route was first announced to include The Highway between Tower Hill and Limehouse, which effectively isolates them and hits deliveries.

Restrictions banning right turns from side streets out of Wapping or even driving across The Highway mean drivers having to make detours to Tower Hill to turn round to go east.

But London Mayor Boris Johnson insisted: “The Olympic network is a requirement of all ‘host’ cities. We’re working as late as possible on changes to minimise the impact.”

Work over the weekend is being carried out by 2,000 contractors putting in barriers for restricted turns and other measures, ready for the estimated 1,300 Olympics vehicles every hour. Traffic signals are also being adjusted, some pedestrian crossings suspended overnight on Tuesday (July 24) and parking and loading bays removed.

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