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Sunday, 5 June 2011

418 days to go

Today's blog is one which really is designed for you to spread to everyone you know who might be interested or affected.

It's about the Olympics and whilst it's a bit about people getting around the city it is mostly about getting supplies and goods to and from premises in London during the summer of 2012.

Dealing with people is slightly easier as they think for themselves and can respond to information. London is going to be VERY BUSY during the Olympic Games. It is far more than just the events themselves - there will be all the preparations, large numbers of one-off events (like the Queen's Diamond Jubilee), and then also the Paralympic Games afterwards. The latter extend into school term time (until 9 September) when traffic gets busier anyway.

The Olympic Route Network will be a series of major roads in London where significant amounts of roadspace will be given over to Games Family vehicles. These will be carrying athletes, officials etc. Not only will there be reserved lanes, many turns will be banned and crossings removed. Similarly spectators and others not allowed to use the ORN will be on public transport - Javelin trains from St Pancras, the Jubilee and Central lines and the Docklands Light Railway. So the roads and public transport will be busy indeed.

So my question for you (and for your friends, workplace colleagues, employees, neighbours etc etc) is have you considered how you (and everyone you are responsible for) will get to work in London during the Games? This is a good time to consider it - for example if you can work at home, can your company server withstand large numbers of people logging on remotely? And don't think of it like a Royal Wedding type event. These only last a day, whereas the Olympic Games is every day from 27th July.

Whilst the ORN is the obvious issue, there will be very many other streets in Central London affected. And also don't forget Stratford is not the only Olympic venue - Earl's Court, Wimbledon and other places will also be critical so it will affect a large number of people.

There is lots of useful information and help available - make a start at

Now dealing with freight is harder as there is an infinite range of materials, in all shapes and sizes and it relies on humans to think for it. So again, thinking about your own job, business, premises and so on (and those of your friends, neighbours, colleagues etc), how are you going to get your supplies in, and your products out?

The major corporate organisations are already thinking about this so supermarkets and banks are well advanced. If you work with non-perishable items you can stock up early. But what about London's individual restaurants, snack bars, small shops and so on? If your deliveries in and out are time critical (for example because they are perishable) then you do need to think now how it can be achieved.

At TfL we are doing all we can - with 18 hours a day of kerbside loading restrictions on the ORN and restricted access to other streets we are working to make it possible for night time deliveries to be easier to make. We are also working closely with as many organisations and businesses as we can.

But the best way to make progress is for everyone to find out what the proposals are and consider how they themselves might be affected. Raise this inside your companies. Make sure they discuss with their suppliers, logitics providers, transport organisers and so on how they can arrange to keep their businesses supplied. By asking the questions now, everyone can be well prepared for 2012.

So next time you are talking with your friends, neighbours or colleagues - at dinner, in the pub or on the golf course - spread the word that the time for preparations is now and get them to really think about it.

Point them to the huge amount of material on the internet, including

London is going to be open for business in 2012!



  1. All of this just so that somebody can glory in throwing a stick 2 millimetres further than somebody else, or practice other totally unnecessary pursuits!

  2. How about creating special olympic cycle lanes - both to the venues and across town? Cycling is the most efficient use of road space after buses. It will help take some of the pressure off public transport. Given the UK has good chances for medals in the cycling events, it might be appropriate too.