Traffic came to a standstill around Parliament Square this morning as motorists stopped to look at the bikini-clad members of the British female beach volleyball team. The stunt was organised to demonstrate how busy the capital’s roads could get during the Olympics.
An estimated 280,000 delivery vehicles – from HGVs to couriers - use London’s roads on a daily basis with a large percentage of them destined to call at restaurants, hotels and pubs.
However, with some roads being closed off for the Olympic Route Network (ORN) and extra visitors expected in the capital for the eight weeks of the Olympic and Paralympic Games, many of those vehicles could be forced to find alternative routes or make deliveries at unusual times, so operators who take daily or regular deliveries of food or other goods may have to adapt current working practices to ensure they have supplies they need.
Speak to suppliers
“The most important thing is that restaurants, pubs and hotels have conversations with their suppliers now,” advised Ian Wainwright, senior policy officer at TfL. "look at when you can get them in - can they deliver earlier or could you join with neighbouring businesses to co-ordinate deliveries perhaps?"
"It's important that businesses recognise how they are impacted and how their supply chain and themselves need to make some changes so that they benefit and can profit from The Games."
Wainwright said now was the time to get final plans in place for all logistical aspects of the business.
"The majority of businesses now recognise that the Games are likely to have an impact, particularly in the hospitality sector where there's likely to be an uplift in volumes and therefore they are thinking about how can they make sure that their business benefits," he said.
"There are probably still some businesses that need to do some planning, but we are now moving into the time of taking some action."
Wainwright told BigHospitality said businesses should look at what he calls "the four 'Rs'" - reducing, re-timing, re-routing and revising - to enable business to work best during The Games.
"That's reducing deliveries, re-timing activity, re-routing activity and potentially revising the mode," he said,"so people might be walking and cycling to work and the delivery is maybe made around the corner so you don't disturb your neighbours."
TfL today added a Temporary Road Changes (TRC) planning tool to the help it has available on its dedicated Olympics website. The new tool includes information about ORNs and the Road Event routes in London. More information, including traffic management around Olympics venues is expected to be added next month.
Garrett Emmerson, TfL’s chief operating officer, Surface Transport, said: “Roads in central London and around venues will be exceptionally busy during the Games. The TRC tool that we’ve launched today means roads users can see where there will be changes to the road network, allowing them to plan ahead."
Listen to BigHospitality's exclusive podcast on Monday 28 May as we take a walking tour around central London with Wainwright to find out what some London businesses are already doing to prepare for the Games.