Fleet News

Olympics: it’s time to talk

It’s time to start talking. That’s the message from the transport boss charged with keeping disruption to a minimum during London 2012. Organisers have come in for criticism for a lack of communication to fleets operating in and out of the capital.

But Hugh Sumner, director of transport for the Olympic Delivery Authority, told Fleet News that businesses needed to start talking to organisers, as well as their customers.

“There is going to be disruption around the Olympic Route Network,” said Sumner. “Businesses not already engaged need to start talking. We’re already working with many companies to help them prepare, but it is equally important that people working in the supply chain talk to their customers. Start asking them what are they going to be doing and as long as you’re prepared you should be able to overcome any issues.”

Sumner’s challenge to fleets to start preparing for London 2012 comes in the wake of the first meeting of the Olympic working group, which took place last Thursday (September 8).

Organised by Transport for London (TfL), it wants to engage with the road transport industry as the competition approaches.

The group, which comprises chief executives from operators and associations including the Freight Transport Association, advised TfL on how their efforts to communicate Olympics information are being received in the industry.

Karen Dee, of the FTA, said: “There is still a lot of work to do in preparing the supply chain, but as part of TfL’s Olympics stakeholder group we look forward to working towards the smooth delivery of a successful Games that is memorable for all the right reasons.”

Sumner has promised more online help for businesses with a fast-track procurement of a
freight journey planner to be published in the Official Journal of the European Union.

TfL requires the winning bidder to produce a web-based system and interactive map application that will enable logistics operators to avoid the worst congestion during the games.

As well as plotting the quickest routes, the planner will take into consideration physical road restrictions such as maximum height and weight levels.

It will also display the closest legal stopping points from a vehicle’s current location.
Work will begin on the system from the end of September, with the planner expected to be launched at the end of February 2012.

Meanwhile, London 2012 and TfL are offering free travel advice to businesses to ensure their staff, customers and suppliers can get around and they can make and receive important deliveries during the Games.

Fleets can visit website www.london2012.com/traveladviceforbusiness for free online tailored travel and deliveries advice.

Data at www.tfl.gov.uk/developers allows companies to check how individual postcodes will be affected by the Olympic Route Network, Central London Zone or road events. The information that TfL has produced in conjunction with Royal Mail will allow them to produce a list of clients and locations that will be impacted, which will help when planning deliveries.

To see the Olympic Route Network go to
http://www.fleetnews.co.uk/static/fleet-news-ezine/ and click on the August edition of FNe.

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