Olympics tricky time to marry or die for some Londoners

Tue Oct 18, 2011 10:44am EDT
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By Avril Ormsby

LONDON (Reuters) - Londoners living anywhere near the Olympic Park next year will find that getting married, commuting to work, dining, drinking and even dying while the Games are on may be a little tricky.

Churches, bars, banks, restaurants and thousands of other businesses near the park or on transport routes that millions of fans and athletes will take to Olympic events are already making plans for massive disruptions in service, deliveries, working hours and the availability of cash.

All Londoners are being warned they may face a shortage of fish and meat and banks could struggle to fill up their ATMs, while workers have been told to plan on fighting for standing-room only on an already creaking public transport system.

Couples hoping to marry next summer at St John's Church in the heart of the Stratford area containing the Olympic Park face a restricted window of opportunity because of its location on the 100-mile (160-km) Olympic Route Network (ORN), designated to whisk 80,000 athletes, dignitaries, sponsors, officials and the media to the venues on time.

"We will be telling brides we would strongly advise them to pick another date," assistant vicar Carol Richards told Reuters.

Richards also said that if one of her congregation were unlucky enough to die during the Games, their family may have to look for a quiet day in the Olympic schedule for the funeral.

It's not just bridal parties and the bereaved who will find the normal course of life disturbed. Businesses near and far will suffer from transport woes in the British capital with an estimated extra three million journeys expected on peak days during the Games.


<p>The Olympic Stadium with the figure 1 mown into the grass to mark one year to go until the start of the London 2012 Olympic Games, is seen in this undated aerial photograph released in London on July 27, 2011. REUTERS/LOCOG/Handout</p>