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Business welcomes Games transport ‘hotspot’ information to ensure London is ‘open for business’ in 2012

Mayor, TfL, Government, LOCOG, ODA, Network Rail, Highways Agency, all transport operators and boroughs working together to deliver a great Games and keep London and the UK moving

Latest detailed, day-by-day road, Tube and DLR station ‘hotspot’ information and travel advice now available at www.tfl.gov.uk/2012 reveals challenge ‘at certain times and in certain locations’

70 per cent of road traffic and two thirds of Tube and DLR stations unaffected, but businesses must ‘prepare to profit’ and make the most of all opportunities next summer

Leading London businesses and organisations, including John Lewis Partnership, Boots, Sainsbury’s, Canary Wharf Group, Deloitte and the Evening Standard today welcomed the release by Transport for London (TfL) of London 2012 Games transport ‘hotspot’ information and advice, which will enable businesses to finalise their plans and ensure the capital is ‘open for business’ throughout next summer’s fantastic spectacle of sporting and cultural events.

Hosting the Olympic and Paralympic Games is a huge logistical challenge, similar in scale to hosting the FA Cup Final, Wimbledon, concerts across the capital and the London Marathon all on the same day, every day, but over several weeks. Events will be taking place right across London and the UK, with central London particularly busy as it effectively becomes a massive sporting and cultural events venue.

In response to requests from business for more detailed information, TfL has now published very detailed transport ‘hotspot’ information covering London’s roads and public transport network. This demonstrates that, rather than requiring a blanket reduction in travel by 30 per cent across London as a whole, the transport challenge is focused at certain times and in certain locations, generally in central London and around Games venues.

Around 70 per cent of road traffic in Greater London will be unaffected and two thirds of Tube and DLR stations will see no impact, in terms of additional time taken to board a train. However, on the busiest days, there will an additional three million journeys in London as people watch the Games and attend cultural events, meaning the road and public transport networks will be much busier than usual in certain locations.

London 2012 and TfL have been working with businesses for over a year, to enable them to plan ahead and from early next year will begin to communicate directly with the public across London and the UK.

Transport Secretary, Justine Greening, said: "Around £6.5 billion has been investment in upgrading and increasing capacity on our transport networks, delivering an early legacy of transport improvements which will benefit millions of people for generations to come.

"However, on the busiest days of the Games, with an additional three million journeys in the capital it is only sensible that businesses plan ahead, particularly those in and around travel ‘hotspots’. I welcome the publication of this information today and the cooperation of everyone involved in organising the London 2012 Games. This should give us all confidence that we are putting in the necessary steps that will keep the country, and especially our capital, moving whilst delivering the best Games ever."

Mayor of London, Boris Johnson said: "My message is clear – prepare to profit during the Games. By planning ahead using the information published today, we will not only keep London moving and open for business, but London will benefit financially from the Games and for many years to come through increased investment and visitors."

London’s Transport Commissioner, Peter Hendy said: "We have two clear objectives, to support the delivery of a great London 2012 Games and ensure we keep London moving and open for business next summer.

"What’s clear from the detailed analysis we’ve published today is that while large parts of London will be able to operate pretty much as normal, in other areas, including central London and around Games venues, roads and public transport networks will clearly be affected. However, rather than a blanket 30 per cent reduction in travel across London as a whole we need to focus attention in certain ‘hotspot’ locations at certain times.

"We’ll continue to work with businesses and early next year will start communicating with regular travellers, to ensure they can stay ahead of the Games, we keep London and the UK moving and businesses can make the most of all the Games have to offer."

Jo Valentine, Chief Executive of London First, which hosted today’s launch, said:
"London’s businesses will welcome this advice from TfL. It dispels some of the myths that have already grown up about transport during the games and will help businesses and their employees plan how to work and play during this historic event. There are still some challenges, particularly around a more flexible approach to the timing of deliveries to shops and other businesses, but it’s clear that a great deal of planning has gone into keeping London moving."

Howard Dawber, Strategic Advisor at Canary Wharf Group said:
"The London Olympic and Paralympic Games is a fantastic event for everyone in London to enjoy. We want staff based at Canary Wharf to be part of the Games experience and enjoy the sport, culture and entertainment around the greatest show on earth. There will be very busy periods on roads and public transport but thanks to good information from Transport for London we have been able to plan ahead and today eight months before the Games we are able to set out a range of measures we have already put in place to minimise disruption to our day to day operation.

"There are only a handful of days when we think transport will be particularly heavily used at the morning and evening peaks so while we do not underestimate the need to plan ahead, we do think that Canary Wharf will be able to cope well with the additional demand.

"We call upon all of London’s companies to get the information they need from Transport for London to ensure we all have the best possible games experience."

Matt Harrison, Sales & Marketing Director of the London Evening Standard said:
"We have worked very closely with TfL on our preparations ahead of Games and welcome the very detailed information they have made available to us.

"The Standard is one of the most time sensitive delivery operations in the world but we always manage to ensure the paper is available for our 1.6 million readers despite the regular challenges London throws at us. We are proud to be the first host city newspaper to cover three Olympic Games and have supported the Games from the bid stage. The London Evening Standard has an important role to play during the Olympics, keeping both Londoners and Visitors informed and up to date, as well as explaining the Legacy of the Games and stimulating debate. Our preparations have been extensive and we will continue to work with partners like TfL to ensure that when the world comes to London in 2012, the London Evening Standard will be ready to welcome them."

The road and Tube station ‘hotspot’ maps and accompanying travel advice are based on the latest data and information on which TfL is developing its own operational transport plans. On the roads, the maps show the impact for each day of the Games and on the days immediately preceding. Alongside the road ‘hotspot’ maps, TfL has developed an online road journey planning tool, available at www.tfl.gov.uk/2012, which shows the additional journey time for those road journeys that really must be undertaken at the busiest times and in the busiest locations, such as the delivery of perishable goods.

On the Tube and DLR, detailed station descriptions have been produced, showing the impact at 30 of the affected stations, day-by-day and at half-hour intervals. They show the impact at stations if nothing was done to manage the demand from Games spectators and regular customers, taking into account seasonal demand patterns. Importantly, they also show how the impact is alleviated when an anticipated reduction of 20 per cent in the total number of journeys is achieved as a result of changed travel patterns at these times and locations. The results demonstrate that much of the impact can be alleviated, aside from a few hours in the late afternoons and early evenings.

This reduction is based on work undertaken by TfL and London 2012 in consultation with businesses, who already expect and have planned that some staff will not travel at these times and locations as they will be working at another location, working from home, taking holiday – perhaps to attend the Games as a spectator – or working longer hours, but fewer days in each week.

For many station ‘hotspots’, this reduction in journeys significantly addresses the impact of the Games, other than on particularly busy days and times. For a few stations, a significant challenge remains and TfL is continuing to work with local employers to ensure they understand the impacts, can plan ahead and, working together, we can further mitigate the impacts at these stations.

At such locations, options remain to ‘retime, reroute or remode’ journeys, which is what businesses can now plan to do with the ‘hotspot’ information released today. Travel advice accompanying each station ‘grid’ provides all the local alternative travel options, such as walking and cycling routes, bus routes and alternative Tube and rail stations.

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