Over 400 representatives from UK businesses attended a working conference today to hear more about the transport plans for the capital and help them plan and prepare their business for the London 2012 Olympic and Paralympic Games.
The conference, together with advertising and a new dedicated section of the London 2012 website, is the first part of an information campaign to help ensure both business and commuters can make informed travel choices during the Games. Attendees were given presentations from the Olympic Delivery Authority, the London 2012 Organising Committee, Transport for London and Department for Transport before attending tailored workshops.
A ‘tool-kit’ of information, including time-tables and competition schedules to demonstrate the busy periods of the Games and maps showing the potential 'travel hotspots’, has been made available to businesses. A new booklet, ‘keep on running’, outlines the issues that businesses need to start considering, such as staff travel and the timing of deliveries, and gives advice and tips on minimising disruption.
David Higgins, Chief Executive of the Olympic Delivery Authority, said: “UK businesses are already benefitting from the Games with thousands of contracts worth billions of pounds. And London is benefitting from a large-scale regeneration project as well as a huge financial investment in transport which will benefit the capital for decades.
'Along with the benefits, there will also be some challenges for the capital as we welcome the world to London. It will be business as unusual during the Games and we are reaching out early to help companies plan their Games and ensure they keep running in 2012.'
Paul Deighton, LOCOG Chief Executive, said: 'The Olympic Games and Paralympic Games are going to be spectacular events in the summer of 2012 – and like nothing London or the UK have seen in recent history. Delivering events on this scale is very much a team game and UK businesses can play a part, particularly those close to venues, helping to ensure the Games are a success and crucially help the city run smoothly in the summer of 2012.'
Local Transport Minister Norman Baker said: 'The 2012 Games will be a fantastic festival for the whole country to enjoy. However hosting the world’s biggest sporting event will inevitably present challenges and it is vital that businesses plan ahead to avoid disruption. We are doing everything we can to help by providing information and advice, as well as investing billions of pounds in transport improvements across the network.
'I am also pioneering an initiative to encourage employees and businesses to reduce their need for travel by adopting smarter ways of working – like video and teleconferencing and home working.
'By working together, I am confident that business and Government can deliver a successful Games whilst minimising inconvenience for those going about their every day lives.'
Peter Hendy, London’s Transport Commissioner, said: 'TfL is on track with a multi-billion investment programme for the Games and is delivering improvements in the capacity, reliability and security of the transport network. Improvements include upgrades to London Overground, extensions to the DLR, smoothing traffic flow on the capital’s roads and increasing capacity on the Tube.
'We look forward to welcoming the world to London in the summer of 2012 and are confident we’ll get all athletes, officials and spectators to the Games on time. However, it will be business as unusual. As with every other Olympic and Paralympic city, we need to work closely with businesses and they need to act to ensure their staff, customers and suppliers can get around, they can keep running and we can keep London moving.'
Colin Stanbridge, Chief Executive of London Chamber of Commerce and Industry (LCCI) said: 'The 2012 Games offer fantastic opportunities for London and its business community, but there will be inevitable pressures on the transport system and it is crucial that all companies are aware of any potential impacts on their own firm. Affected businesses will need to think ahead and should start considering plans as early as possible. This might include implementing travel plans or flexible working for employees, reducing non-essential journeys and making adjustments to delivery schedules to ensure they can remain open for business as normal.
“The LCCI will be working with LOCOG and TfL to make sure London businesses understand the possible implications for their organisations and the options available to help mitigate the effects.”
Kulveer Ranger, the Mayor of London’s transport advisor, said:'The Games are a unique opportunity for businesses across London, which is why it is crucial that companies large and small start to consider how to ensure their services and their employees can operate smoothly and efficiently during the three weeks that the world comes to London.
'Planning ahead is paramount and I recommend every business in London logs onto the London 2012 website to get the best possible advice on how to operate successfully during the Games.'
Notes to editors:
1. The ‘Travel Advice to Business’ event was held at the Excel Centre in east London on Wednesday 24 November. Speakers were LOCOG CEO Paul Deighton; Transport Minister Norman Baker; ODA CEO David Higgins; TfL’s MD for Surface Transport David Brown; and ODA Director of Transport Hugh Sumner.
2. View the new travel advice for business section of the website
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For further information please contact the Olympic Delivery Authority Press Office on +44 (0)203 2012 700.
The construction of the venues and infrastructure of the London 2012 Games is funded by the National Lottery through the Olympic Lottery Distributor, The Department for Culture, Media and Sport, the Mayor of London and the London Development Agency.
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