London gets first wave of Olympic arrivals

London braces itself for 40,000 Olympic visitors arriving today

The Olympics madness starts today, with the first wave of tourists, athletes and officials expected to arrive at Heathrow.

Around 40,000 extra passengers are due to arrive in the UK today as dedicated Olympic lanes are opened to transport VIPs into central London.

This comes amid growing anxiety about the airport’s ability to cope with the large number of visitors.

An extra 500 border control staff have been brought in to help ease congestion in immigration halls at Heathrow, but there are fears that new, less experienced staff are failing to carry out proper security checks.

The first dedicated Olympic lane also opens on a stretch of the M4 today.

There had been fears that the work on the damaged flyover near junction 2 of the motorway, located in west London, would not be completed in time, but the affected stretch has been opened.

Officials say they expect around 80 per cent of athletes and officials to use the dedicated lanes, which have been criticised by campaigners who say they will stop ordinary Londoners from moving freely around the city.

The Olympics opening ceremony will take place on July 27.

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