By Tom Degun
November 18 - On the day London 2012 launched its multi-million pound automobile deal with BMW, Mayor Boris Johnson announced he is due to meet International Olympic Committee (IOC) President Jacques Rogge to discuss the possibility of VIPs using public transport.
Rogge has claimed that the IOC are prepared to do without the controversial dedicated Olympic lanes if London can guarantee that it can reduce congestion on the streets during the Games to make moving around easier and that people will be able to rely on public transport.
The London transport system is currently undergoing huge investment ahead of the Games with one of the key features of the £100 million redevelopment being the Javelin, a high-speed rail shuttle that will go from St. Pancras International to Stratford International. Johnson said: "I am seeing Jacques Rogge very soon and will remind him what he said about the Olympic Route Network and London’s public transport system.
"However, London's reputation is at stake here.
"Transport at the Atlanta 1996 Olympics was chaos and severely harmed the cities' reputation.
"We certainly don't want the same thing to happen here so it is essential that London’s transport system is good enough.
"The Javelin will be a great method of transport for the Games but we would still have to get all the athletes to St. Pancras which logistically, is not easy.
"There is a limit to what we can accomplish and while there will be cars that transport athletes, officials and IOC members around in a regular and predictable way, we will emphasise the importance of the IOC using London public transport."
Johnson also revealed that following the announcement that BMW has now become the seventh Tier One sponsor of London 2012 they will be providing at least 200 low emission cars for the Games in a deal that will provide the organisers with £24 million cash.
He said: "Not only did BMW they provide the lowest carbon emissions of the realistic offers we had, they will also provide £24 million to staging the Games which in tough economic times, is a huge boost."
Under the new deal, BMW, which owns iconic British brands Rolls-Royce and Mini, is to provide around 4,000 vehicles to be used in transporting athletes, officials and media during the London Games and Paralympics.
The carmaker was also unveiled as a sustainability partner and is to provide a collection of low-emission and electric vehicles, bicycles and motorbikes. London has said it wants the 2012 Games to be the greenest yet held.
A proportion of the fleet will be wheelchair-accessible and BMW has said it will convert a number of vehicles for use by disabled drivers and passengers.
Ian Robertson, a member of BMW's board, said the carmaker had "a natural affinity with London 2012 and its commitment to low carbon and healthy living.
He said: "We see our partnership as a major opportunity, over the next three years and beyond, to focus attention on our range of the most fuel-efficient premium cars - and also to shine a light on the future of individual mobility."
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November 2009: Exclusive - BMW to be unveiled today as London 2012 Tier One sponsor
December 2008: Plans for London 2012 Olympic lanes unveiled