The week began with Londoners aboard the capital’s Tube system receiving a warning from the lips of their mayor, Boris Johnson, of “huge pressure on the transport network”. It ended with him rejecting suggestions that what he called his “Hiroshima Tube announcement” was to blame for putting people off coming to London. After Japanese media seized on the mayoral gaffe, Mr Johnson apologised and admitted it was an “ill-judged choice of phrase”.
But the debacle, coming hot on the heels of comments from David Cameron, prime minister, that Londoners should “come back into the capital, come and shop,” exposed the difficulties for politicians and games organisers of managing the world’s biggest sporting occasion in one of the world’s busiest cities. The prime minister’s appeal for fresh London custom followed cries of anguish from West End businesses, who complained that trade was being “destroyed” as traditional tourists stayed away. Retailers, theatre owners, restaurateurs and those running the city’s prime attractions said the Olympics, while boosting business in east London, had created a “ghost-town” effect elsewhere in the city.
Trail of Confusion Leads to ‘Ghost Town’ – Financial Times – August 3, 2012
By James Pickford, Roger Blitz, Mark Odell, Helen Warrell and Jennifer Thompson
Link to Financial Times article