Tuesday, April 24, 2012

FTA Out of the Blocks with Olympic and Paralympic Freight and Logistics Programme

Association Provides Guidance for London and Beyond
Shipping News Feature

UK – Members of the Freight Transport Association (FTA) attending the Commercial Vehicle Show at the National Exhibition Centre in Birmingham today had the first opportunity to see the FTA Support Guide to the London 2012 Olympic and Paralympic Games, copies of which will be sent to every FTA member in the first week of May. The Guide is packed with maps, diagrams and details of the expected restrictions that will be in force, not just at the venues but across London over most of the summer period to aid logistics movements in the capital.

The FTA Support Guide also includes model guidance for staff and drivers that can be used by employers to advise on attendance at work and unauthorised absence during the Games period; volunteering as an Olympics support worker and instructing drivers on additional precautions to be taken at a time of heightened security. Advice is also included on scheduling drivers’ time, arranging night-time deliveries and on the information to carry that the police and enforcement agencies may expect to see.

The FTA has also announced further details of its unique Olympics Freight Solutions event taking place at One Great George Street, London SW1 on Wednesday 16th May 2012. Keynote updating sessions will be provided by Peter Hendy, Transport Commissioner for London, Sarah Bell, Traffic Commissioner with special responsibility for the Olympics and from the Olympic Delivery Authority (ODA). The rest of the day will be devoted to parallel sessions covering the specific issues arising in key supply chains, including food and drink, waste, and home deliveries, among others.

Throughout the day unique one-to-one Freight Surgeries with FTA experts and other solution providers will be available to individual delegates to discuss and hopefully solve specific issues arising in their business. The Surgeries will cover routing and delivery restrictions, variations to O Licences, drivers’ scheduling and night-time deliveries. Natalie Chapman, Head of Policy for London at FTA and leading the Association’s London 2012 campaigning and information programme said:

“The Olympic torch relay sets off on 19th May and marks the first of a series of events that will have an impact on local roads and access to town and city centres. It is vital that commercial vehicle operators intending to deliver into London and other Games venues over the next three and half months understand the restrictions and disruption that will be caused by the Games and plan around it.

“We are still waiting for Transport for London to release the final details of the restrictions next month but there is enough information available now for most businesses to start making serious plans and managing their deliveries and supply chains around the road closures, loading and unloading restrictions and other route changes that we know will apply.

“London’s roads are the most heavily regulated in the country with the London Lorry Control Scheme limiting routes at night-time and weekends and the Low Emission Zone effectively dictating the age of vehicles that can operate in Greater London. Add to that the Congestion Charge Zone and the all the normal parking and loading restrictions that will continue to apply and London will be a delivery minefield ready to trigger fines, penalty charge notices and ultimately licence revocation for the unwary and unprepared.

“It is going to be a great summer with the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee and Wimbledon preceding the Opening Ceremony of the Olympic Games on 27 July. Our new Guide and our Solutions event on 16 May show we are stepping up to the mark to help members prepare for the most intensive period of activity in London in living memory. With millions of visitors expected and a welcome uplift in sales being forecast by many businesses, it will be vital to ensure that supply chains deliver a World Class performance this summer.”

Meanwhile enquiries as to the progress made so far regarding assistance for those companies who fear they will be stranded and therefore suffering a potentially commercially fatal blow when roads surrounding the main arena are closed during the two events reveal that, despite visits from various representatives of the organising committee, there have been no firm offers of solutions or any formula for compensation up to now.