A Vanity Fair article profiling the political journey that Britain took to secure the 2012 Olympics reports that the bid committee went as far as messing with traffic signals to ensure that the International Olympic Committee (IOC) visitors were impressed with the city's infrastructure. In a story that sounds worthy of a political thriller (or a Bourne film), CEO of the London bid committee Sir Keith Mills says that the team planted GPS trackers in each of the IOC evaluator's vehicles, planned their routes through the city, and followed them using London's infamous CCTV system to make sure that they were not hindered by traffic. The operation took place in the London Traffic Control Center and "when they came up to traffic lights... we turned them green."

Whether or not the traffic signal antics convinced the IOC members that London's transport isn't as congested as it's made out to be, London did ultimately win the bid from front-runners Paris, Madrid, New York, and Moscow. Part of the agreement to host the games has required the government to enforce strict rules on Olympics branding, and the infrastructure build-up has been a massive undertaking. Other than the addition of Wi-Fi networks in the Underground and other locations to help handle an expected spectrum overload, the event's costs have expanded from an original estimate of $3.9 billion to $18 billion, according to Vanity Fair.