When it was first announced I was thrilled and saw only the positives, much needed regeneration, infrastructure and employment for East London, inbound tourism, sporting interest and opportunities for our deprived inner city kids.
My husband saw only the negatives, the cost to London and the disruption that it would cause.
Since we were granted the olympics, we have been in recession so as far as London is concerned it was an expense we could have done without.
At first things were looking good. The planning went through quickly but the construction jobs didn’t go to locals. It was mostly sewn up by cheap eastern European labour.
I was hopeful that transport would improve as a result and certainly progress ihas been made on London overground and DLR but the underground has proved to be a nightmare. I have found myself inconvenienced personally and professionally having to apologize in advance for the severe disruption to our overseas visitors if they are here over the weekends so along with my instructions of how to buy an oyster card I also explain that journeys have to be made by bus at weekends. To add insult to injury we have been told that fares will rise as a direct result of the olympics.
We have even been asked not to go to work. London cannot cope with world travel market for four days so how will it cope for the duration of the olympics?
I had hoped that young londoners would be inspired by interest and that sporting facilities would be made available. Instead we have seen rioting in our streets and youth facilities cut. We have seen west ham and tottenham bickering over the stadium and proposals made to knock the stadium down.
What about tourism? One company has the monopoly in inbound Olympic tourism and there is a 300pc mark up on the hotels. I do see a window of opportunity for outbound tourism from londoners wanting to get away from the chaos but book early because prices will go through the roof
I hope that job opportunities will increase in hospitality and catering but I bet these are outsourced as well
So my feelings now are that hubby was right. Londoners will be penalized for having the olympics and we are not reaping any of the benefits
So where will I be for the olympics? Not in London, that’s for sure