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Olympic Transport Arrangements

Volume 546: debated on Monday 11 June 2012

The Petition of Michael Spinks of Essex Flour and Grain Co. Ltd.,

Declares that the Petitioner is concerned that during the period of local road closures for the Olympic Games, local businesses (including Essex Flour & Grain Co. Ltd) may be forced into liquidation as a result of an inability to receive and dispatch goods and that this may result in job losses.

The Petitioners therefore request that the House of Commons urges the Government to encourage the London Organising Committee of the Olympic Games to take all possible steps to ensure freedom of access for private and commercial vehicles to businesses in Lee Conservancy Road, Hackney Wick and the immediate neighbourhood during the period of the Olympic and Paralympic Games.

And the Petitioner remains, etc.—[Presented by Meg Hillier, Official Report, 17 April 2012; Vol. 543, c. 292.]

[P001018]

Observations from the Secretary of State for Transport:

Keeping London moving and minimising the impact of the London 2012 games on business are a key part of the Government’s transport objectives for the games. The London Organising Committee for the Olympic and Paralympic Games (LOCOG) and Transport for London (TfL) are the Olympic Delivery Authority’s key delivery partners in ensuring the effective management of the road network in the vicinity of the Petitioner. Both are continuing to engage with businesses in the area to ensure that the adverse impacts of the temporary games measures are minimised as far as possible.

Through the programme of travel advice to business workshops, LOCOG and TfL have engaged with businesses across London and have identified ways of minimising disruption, for example by removing or relaxing the restrictions around night time lorry movements during the period of the games.

Over the last year both TfL working on the proposed Olympic Route Network measures, and LOCOG on the Olympic Park Local Area Traffic Management and Parking Plan (LATM&P) measures, have undertaken extensive public engagement exercises in this area and acted on feedback received as far as possible. This has included, in addition to formal statutory requirements, engaging residents and businesses located around the venue and the ORN who are affected by our plans. LOCOG and TfL activities included:

drop-in sessions;

public community/business meetings;

leaflet and letter drops;

posters/adverts;

information provided on the London 2012 website; and

utilising local authority communication channels.

LOCOG has also been supporting business and freight programme workshops and have provided the appropriate LATM&P information at the relevant sessions. These sessions have been attended by other local businesses and Essex Flour and Grain were also invited. I understand from LOCOG that that feedback from businesses has been generally good.

LOCOG is also organising briefing sessions aimed at business intermediaries and umbrella organisations. This will be an opportunity to raise further awareness of the plans with the business community and to allow them to distil the message further to their members.

These steps will ensure that access to and from premises is maintained and businesses are able to continue their normal activities, albeit in some cases using alternative routes or potentially at different times of day to current operations.

In relation to the specific case referred to in this petition, officials in the Department for Transport understand that LOCOG has recently provided Essex Flour and Grain Ltd with documentation demonstrating the transport routes available to allow them to continue their business activities.

The Department for Transport has also been in correspondence with Mr Spinks and other representatives from the Essex Flour and Grain Ltd. In our responses we have urged them to continue to engage with their contacts at LOCOG to get their issues resolved.

I recognise that the proximity of the Olympic Park will mean that businesses in the Hackney Wick area, including the Essex Flour and Grain Company, will encounter temporary disruption. However we encourage all businesses in this position to continue to engage with LOCOG and TfL to find ways of minimising the impact on their businesses.