900,000 Olympics-related visitors are expected in London this summer. That is apart from the usual 1.5 million tourists that visit London every August. With all the hustle and bustle and Olympic madness, one wonders what an average Londoners life will be like? After all, with an influx of hundreds and thousands of people in the city, their city won’t be the same.
Life for Londoners have already started changing and many fear things will only complicate as Olympics near and are launched full on. Many East London private landlords have started making things difficult for their tenants by giving them notices of eviction. They want to make the most of the tourist boom. London only has only 110,000 hotel rooms. The requirement to accommodate the tourists is for much, much more. Some properties, usually rented for £350 per week, are being marketed at £6,000 per week.
An average resident of London paying heavily for the Games through council tax hikes will experience a congestion that they decidedly do not deserve. Even their ambulances will be proscribed from the lanes if they are not running blue lights. They will have a tough time even commuting from one place to another due to the influx of people. As recorded in 2007, London had a population of over 7,556,900. The number has surely increased since. Add to it the large number of people coming in to enjoy the Olympics; you have a city struggling to meet every one’s needs.
Images from The Great Exhibition 2012
According to The Telegraph, up to 40 per cent of Whitehall staff will be asked to stay away from the office to help ease congestion on London's transport network. Others will be asked to shift their working times or take annual leave.
They will find themselves struggling for space in public places, hotels, restaurants, cinemas and even the underground tube system.
They will also face increased security checks and what most consider a hindrance, due to no fault of their own. London has been wired up with a new range of scanners, biometric ID cards, number-plate and facial-recognition CCTV systems, disease tracking systems, new police control centers and checkpoints.
Some London residents are getting troops and surface-to-air missiles on their rooftops for the security of Summer Olympics avenues. Many residents are planning to move out of the city for at least a few weeks to beat the madness, noise and lack of privacy.
But there is another side to it as well, despite the obvious and definitely irksome problems, there is definitely going to be a boom in economy, as businesses will flourish, hotel and entertainment industry will flourish. Not to mention there will be social intermingling of people from all over the world. Something the people, at least the younger lot of London must definitely be looking forward to!
Despite all the hassles and irritation, Londoners will eventually get their city back along with fond memories and a feeling of pride for pulling off an event of a life time!
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