Environment

4,000 Brand-New BMWs to Whisk VIPs Around London’s ‘Green’ Olympics

Green activists are going environ-mental at the decision to use thousands of gas guzzling BMWs for Olympic VIPs.

While locals and spectators are being urged to abandon their cars for public transport, thousands of so-called VIPs will travel to the London Olympics in the lap of luxury. 4,000 brand-new BMWs are to be shipped from Germany to the UK capital so that dignitaries and officials can be escorted in consummate comfort. Critics have described the move as 'lunatic,' given that the London Olympics Games has been billed as the greenest ever.

Parked end to end, the enormous fleet of BMW 3- and 5-Series would form a ten-mile tailback. Traffic, however, won't be a problem as the VIPs will get to cruise on specially reserved 'games lanes' located near the major venues. Jenny Jones, a member of the London Assembly of the Green Party said: "Four thousand vehicles seems lunatic when we have such a good public transport system. I can understand a few officials need secure transport but 4,000? Shipping new cars in from Germany is also extremely bad news for the environment. I am sure there are many local car dealers which could have supplied vehicles."

At least 250 VIPs are to be designated their own BMW complete with personal chauffeur, while the remainder of the plush cars will be shared by the 'Olympic family,' including athletes, officials and sponsors. Meanwhile, members of the public will be encouraged to walk or use crowded trains and buses. It was hoped that as the 2012 Olympic Games was promised to be the greenest ever to take place, only electric vehicles would be used. However, as part of its sponsorship deal with London 2012, only 200 of 4,000 BMW vehicle fleet will be electric cars, while a large portion will be diesel models.

After the Games, the £150 million worth of cars will be sold on the second-hand market. London's serious air pollution problem is set to get a whole lot worse.

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