A widespread support package to help freight operators and their customers continue to operate effectively during the London 2012 Games has been announced by TfL.
At the centre of the package, known as TfL’s Freight Advice Programme, are 230 free workshops aimed at businesses in Games transport ‘hotspot’ areas which receive freight deliveries, and those companies that deliver to them.
The free workshops, which aim to attract businesses from across all sectors and will help them to plan and prepare, start on January 30 and run until the end of April.
Around 160 sessions will be held in London and 70 will be held outside the capital, in cities including Manchester, Birmingham, Cardiff and Southampton which have a significant concentration of businesses supplying London.
Other areas which also generate a large number of freight movements into and out of the capital will also be targeted, including Slough, Northampton, Chelmsford and Milton Keynes.
To apply for a free workshop place, businesses should visit www.tfl.gov.uk/ where there is a full list of workshop dates, times and locations.
As part of the Freight Advice Programme, TfL is also offering free guidance and support to London’s major wholesale markets: New Spitalfields, New Covent Garden, Billingsgate, Smithfield, and Western International - with Borough Market also receiving advice.
Starting this month, each market will be assigned an advisor who will ensure that tenants, customers and suppliers are aware of the transport challenges of the Games and are given support to put the necessary plans in place to help them continue to run smoothly during the summer.
In addition, a team of advisors will visit small and medium sized enterprises (SMEs) including retailers, pubs and restaurants in Games transport ‘hotspot’ areas - such as Whitehall and St James’ in central London and Stratford Town Centre - to offer them face-to-face support.
London’s Transport Commissioner Peter Hendy said: “Ensuring that London’s supermarkets, restaurants and pubs remain stocked this summer will be critical to the overall success of the London 2012 Games. Businesses based in transport ‘hotspot’ areas that make or receive freight deliveries need to start planning now to ensure they continue to operate effectively – and profitably - next summer.
“Our new programme of workshops and tailored advice for freight operators and their customers greatly enhances the support package already on offer to help businesses of all sizes stay one step ahead during the Games.
“I’d like to urge all businesses in affected areas, and the freight companies that deliver to them, to take advantage of the hundreds of free workshops starting this month and log on to www.tfl.gov.uk/ to book a place.”
Natalie Chapman, the Freight Transport Association’s head of policy for London, said: “It is critical that the supply chain is fully prepared for the massive challenges it faces when the largest event in the world hits the capital next summer. These free workshops will supplement existing guidance to arm operators with the advice and information they need to deliver a successful Games for London.”
Kate Gibbs at the Road Haulage Association said: “We welcome this move by TfL to help haulage operators at such a critical time and we shall certainly be urging our members to take advantage of the practical advice and information available. An effective, cost effective and efficient transport network is crucial to the success of the Games; this initiative will ensure that operators are fully prepared.”