London traffic jams reach Olympic proportions

A general view of signs for traffic ahead of the London 2012 Olympic Games on July 23, 2012 in London, England.
A general view of signs for traffic ahead of the London 2012 Olympic Games on July 23, 2012 in London, England.
Streeter Lecka/Getty Images

(CBS News) LONDON - London's streets can grind to gridlock at the best of times.

But carve up the capital and take away lanes on an already famously congested network of roads and you've got traffic jams of Olympic proportions.

That's causing lots more frustration over playing host to the Games.

"Appalling" and "pointless" are just some of the descriptions offered up by drivers navigating the traffic.

Complete Coverage: London 2012 Games

The Games Lanes - as they're called - fully came into effect Wednesday morning. They're for athletes, officials, and VIPS.

If a not very important person slips into the lane, they'll be slapped with a $200 fine, every time they're caught.

Olympic organizers have urged commuters to use public transportation - trains and subways.

Sure, they're already packed and prone to break down. The London Olympics CEO says just deal with it.

"I think everybody who lives in London understands that we have a massive transport network. From time to time bits and pieces of it don't work," Paul Deighton said.

Apparently the security arrangements aren't working either.

On Tuesday the government had to call in the troops again - 1,200 more soldiers after previously deploying 3,500 to make up a last minute shortfall of security guards.

With a warship on the River Thames, anti-aircraft batteries nearby and now even more boots on the ground it's starting to look like more of a battlefield outside the stadiums.

"This is Britain. We don't even have armed policemen on the streets. Policemen do not carry guns as a matter of course. Any time you see a soldier or a policeman with a gun on the streets, that sets a kind of alarm bell ringing in the British mind. It's not the way we do things here," columnist and author Nick Cohen said.

There is one bit of good news. Border patrol agents at London's Heathrow airport have agreed to call off their strike.

To see Charlie D'Agata's report, click on the video in the player above.