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Firms race to get London 2012 travel plans in place

Bankers, lawyers and retailers are leading the charge when it comes to preparing for the transport challenges posed by the London 2012 Games, according to new figures from London 2012 and Transport for London (TfL). Employers are being urged to follow their lead by putting travel plans in place ahead of the London 2012 Olympic and Paralympic Games.

Sixty one firms in the banking and finance sector, which represent over 180,000 employees have signed up for free Travel Advice for Business from dedicated London 2012 travel advisors, followed by 28 law firms (representing over 28,000 employees) and 13 retailers (over 20,000 employees). Nine management consultants have also followed suit, representing over 29,000 employees alone.

However, with only one firm currently signed up in sectors including charities, manufacturing and telecoms, organisations in the third sector and across business are being urged to access the specialist support available and prepare for the Games.

In total, over 200 firms across London, which account for over 370,000 employees, have signed up for the travel advice sessions. In the last six weeks alone, there has been a 100 per cent increase in sign-ups as firms begin to ramp up their preparations ahead of the Games.

The Site-Specific Advice (SSA) programme is available to firms located in an area affected by the Games and that employ over 200 staff. The free one-to-one travel advice sessions help organisations plan for next summer, when increased demand caused by the Games will see transport networks severely affected and much busier than usual. Run by London 2012 and TfL, the sessions cover:

Optimising deliveries, servicing and freight;
Planning staff business travel during busy periods;
Forecasting customer and visitor movements during the Games;
Tips to help firms maintain service continuity;
Sharing best practice: assessing what firms are already doing.
Businesses of all sizes who wish to sign up for the free travel advice simply need to email keeponrunning@london2012.com or visit www.london2012.com/traveladviceforbusiness for more information and advice.

"Day three of the Olympics is one of the most important days for employers," said Mark Evers, Director of Games Transport at TfL. "It’s the first Monday of the Games, when employers and employees will feel the effects of the increased demand on the transport network. That’s why we’re urging firms to access the free support on offer like Site Specific Advice. This will help them plan ahead, keep running smoothly and take advantage of the excellent business opportunities the Games will bring."

The SSA sessions form part of a free Travel Advice for Business support package to help British businesses run smoothly in the run up to, and during, the 2012 Olympic and Paralympic Games. In addition to SSA, the package consists of 50 travel advice workshops for small and medium sized enterprises (SMEs). Furthermore, over 100 one-to-one sessions are available for multisite businesses, which include retail outlets and restaurant chains.

Andrew Evenden from Hamleys, which signed up for free SSA sessions in July, said: "We employ 300 people in the Capital and although the Games will offer us some great opportunities, we need to plan for any impact on transport that could work against us. After signing up for Site Specific Advice we’ve looking forward to taking advantage of the one-on-one sessions in order to feel more prepared for the Games. Our main aim now is to develop a comprehensive action plan to enhance the experience of our customers and maximise every 2012 opportunity."

Hugh Sumner, Director of Transport for the Olympic Delivery Authority, said: "We have seen strong interest in Site Specific Advice from London’s big business community, which bodes well for their ability to cope with the impact on day three and through the Games. The banking and finance sector has been especially responsive. With just a year to go until the Games, I urge all businesses, big and small, to visit the London2012.com website, see if they’re affected and plan ahead to keep on running during the summer of 2012."

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