Athlete arrivals set Heathrow record

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Athletes, volunteers and teams coming into London for the Olympic Games will see Heathrow set a new record for passenger numbers in one day today.

The airport is expected to carry 236, 955 people today, breaking the previous record of 233, 562 on 31 July 2011 and its average of 190,000 a day.

“We have spent seven years preparing for the Games’ challenge. Now we are putting that planning into action with thousands of extra staff and volunteers on hand to welcome the world to London,” said Nick Cole, head of Olympic and Paralympic planning at BAA. He warned 13 August will also be a bust time for the airport when the teams depart. “The Olympic and Paralympic Games are a marathon, not a sprint, for Heathrow. The airport has some major challenges ahead, including unprecedented numbers of departing Olympics passengers and bags on 13 August and Paralympic arrivals and departures in August and September,” he added.

M4

While the M4 stretch between Heathrow and London reopened last week after repairs to a crack in the road, Sky News reported motorists were confused by the dedicated Olympic road lanes. Tailbacks were caused as drivers tried to get into non-Olympic lanes, although a sign on the motorway said the other lane was still open today.

Hotels

Meanwhile despite reports last week that many London hotels had dropped their prices during the Olympics, analysts TravelClick said some prices have rocketed to an average £193.30 for one night.

However the doubled rates have not put travellers off coming to the capital, with hoteliers thought to be experiencing strong demand for the two-week period and committed occupancy at 45.7% (up 303% than usual). Friday 27 July is set to be the busiest day, followed by 7 August, with prices at their highest for the closing ceremony on 12 August.

Unsurprisingly, hotels in East London have bumped up prices the most (69%) while [likely more swankier] properties in London’s SW have seen the lowest price increases (19%), according to an index from TripAdvisor.  

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