The 4,000-strong London 2012 fleet has come through the Olympic Games largely unscathed after ferrying athletes, officials and dignitaries around the country.
The vehicles were driven by 9,000 volunteer drivers and orchestrated by fleet services manager John Fryer and a fleet team of 400. However, the number of vehicles has now been halved for the Paralympic Games, which finishes on Sunday, September 9.
Fryer told Fleet News that any damage sustained by the fleet had in the main consisted of bumps, scrapes and kerbed wheels.
“During the Games vehicles were sent to a BMW service centre for repair, or if necessary taken off fleet and returned to BMW,” he explained.
“The nature of the damage will determine who pays – we operate to BVLRA standards. Fair wear and tear sits with BMW, insured damage sits with the insurer and LOCOG covers the rest.”
Drivers came through the Games Makers’ recruitment programme and Fryer began the process of checks and training two years ago (Fleet News, May 24).
He had to create LOCOG’s fleet policy from scratch, drawing on his previous experience at some of the world’s biggest sporting events, including the Commonwealth Games in Manchester and the Asian Games in Doha.
And at any one time during the Olympic Games, he had more than 1,300 drivers on the road, making it one of the biggest and most challenging fleet operations in the country.
However, the hard work which started when Fryer joined the Olympic Delivery Authority (ODA) in April 2007 and then LOCOG in 2009 appears to have paid off.
He said: “An International Olympic Committee executive board member described the service as the best they’ve ever had at an Olympics.
“Obviously with an operation of the scale and intensityof ours there were challenges, but overall it went extremely well.”
Fleets have the opportunity to learn all about the London 2012 fleet from Fryer and fleet operations manager John Wood at the Fleet News Congress, which will be held at the Heritage Motor Centre, Gaydon, on October 16.