Look, I don't want to worry you, but someone does. If you're planning on travelling around London during the Olympics, please try not to. The capital's going to be chock-full of visitors trying to use roads and trains and tubes and buses, so it would be terribly useful if you didn't. And yes, I know this isn't news, they've been saying this for ages. But what is news is that we're starting to get properspecifics about precisely how bad it's going to be when.
Actually this doesn't sound at all bad, does it? Whether you're heading back after Volleyball at Earl's Court or returning home after your regular late night drinking session in Wood Green, TfL are running extra trains for you. It's only for a fortnight-plus, but bring it on.
This sounds less fun, though. For the duration of the Olympics, please don't use London Bridge station. Please go to one of two other stations, even if they're not anywhere near where you want to go, to sacrifice yourself for the greater good. Things should be fine between 10 and 12 in the morning, and mid afternoon, but don't you dare hang around past 4pm otherwise the hordes will descend and you may never escape. OK, I know I'm totally over-interpreting this, but TfL's advice appears either over-specific or over-simplistic (or both).
Blimey. Sorry if you're a banker in the City, or a cleaner at the Guildhall, or needing to change lines to get somewhere. You're not wanted at Bank, stay away, because they'd rather the station was for the exclusive use of folk with Equestrian tickets or those off to watch the Taekwondo. Everybody else, bugger off. Obviously this attempt at frightening Joe Public will never work 100%, but if TfL can scare sufficient passengers away from Bank with tales of woe then transport gridlock can hopefully be avoided.
Just read that last sentence of advice again. If you're not deliberately staying in town to watch the Flame-Lighting on some big Panasonic-sponsored screen, go home as early as you can. Forget any normal stuff you might do on a Friday like travelling to choir practice or going round your Nan's for tea, just get off the trains and leave them for the proper people. Again, I know, I'm over-interpreting, but TfL's official advice reads disturbingly like they're proposing a curfew.
Here's a very specific recommendation - to keep out of the bloody way on Friday 3 August. Try to rearrange your lives to stay at home (maybe wash the car or something), or go and stay with your auntie in St Albans. Perhaps see if you can persuade your boss to close the office, or do videoconferencing, or just doss around at home on full pay. And no, I don't know anyone who's got a ticket for the Olympic Park on Friday 3 August either, but hundreds of thousands of people have, so LET THEM PASS.
Let's not knock the forward-planning here. You really don't want to find yourself at Heathrow on 13 August surrounded by packs of VIPs with designer luggage, so this advice should help you avoid accidentally booking your summer holiday on that date. Likewise you don't want to book a work's conference for 27 July, or organise a hen party for 3 August. Forewarned is a crisis averted.
And this is just the tip of the Olympic travel iceberg. There's so much more to come, including (in November) a line-by-line breakdown of precisely which parts of the tube are likely to be overcrowded during the Games, divided up into 30 minute slots. Take pity on the poor Olympic transport planners attempting to make sure that our capital doesn't come to a grinding halt while the eyes of the world are upon us. But let's hope they find a slightly less patronising way of shepherding us around town when the mega-fortnight arrives. And when it is suddenly hell to get anywhere, don't say you weren't warned.