RHA and FTA warn of Olympic disruption

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The Road Haulage Association is urging changes to planned restrictions on transport and distribution within London during the 2012 Olympics, imposed by Transport for London and local councils.

The association argues that costs will spike during the Olympics period, and that orders and jobs could be at risk because of local authorities refusing to address capacity issues. It has called for:

* The London lorry ban to be lifted for the duration of the games, along with night-time delivery planning restrictions

* Greater access to priority/bus lanes for lorries

* The Low Emission Zone penalty on Euro 3 trucks to be suspended for the duration of the games

The RHA is particularly concerned by the creation of 60 miles of temporary games lanes, as they will reduce capacity on these routes for general and truck traffic.

The move follows a warning from the Freight Transport Association that government agencies are not adequately informing commercial vehicle operators of the restrictions. Its survey found a third of respondents claiming to have “no knowledge” of how the Olympic Route Network or Games Lanes will operate.

FTA research found that fewer than five per cent of companies in the logistics sector feel “totally prepared” to deal with the potential disruption to the supply chain.

The RHA also wants TfL to work with the RHA to identify places in London where drivers can take statutory breaks.

And it said the Department for Transport should further relax the test for lifting the toll at the Dartford Crossing during periods of extreme congestion.

The RHA said its members expect to see an increased use of vans and 7.5-tonne trucks, which are exempt from certain routeing restrictions and the night-time delivery ban. However, as they are often less efficient than larger vehicles, this will add to congestion and cost.

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