Logistics essential to Olympic success, FTA tells MPs

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Without efficient logistics, there will be no Olympic Games, the Freight Transport Association has told MPS in its evidence to the House of Commons Transport Committee’s inquiry into transport for the Olympics Inquiry.

Stressing the importance of logistics to the success of the Olympics, it said it was vital to find alternative ways of working and to see the challenges of the Games as an opportunity for innovation rather than an intrusion.

Natalie Chapman, head of policy for London, said: “Without efficient logistics, there will be no Games. And without an appreciation of the likely disruption, Londoners and London’s business community will find it difficult to keep functioning. It is therefore important that everyone interested in making this summer a success is working together to ensure an efficient supply chain is maintained. There is a tendency not to notice freight until it doesn’t work, so the challenges of the next few months give the industry the ideal opportunity to showcase how effective and efficient it really is.”

Chapman warned that FTA members were concerned how those reliant on logistics were preparing and adapting for the challenges of the next few months. She also raised concerns regarding the additional costs that the industry will face in servicing customers during the Games. Many companies have had to hire in additional vehicles and drivers for the summer even if these do not foresee an increase in trade as productivity will slump due to a reduction in road speeds and an increase in congestion.

“The vast array of additional restrictions that will be implemented for the Olympics and Paralympics such as the Olympic Route Network, Games Lanes, banned turns and loading bans are likely to cause confusion even to drivers how know London’s streets like the back of their hand. We hope that the boroughs and Transport for London will take a sensible approach to enforcement and will focus their efforts on compliance and assisting drivers. We are of course delighted that the Mayor of London and the Secretary of State for Transport listened to FTA’s concerns on this issue and did not approve the increase in PCN levels to £200 as requested by London Councils and the Olympic Delivery Authority. However, if £130 fines are issued like confetti, we will as an industry, have a very big bill to pick up at the end of the summer.”

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