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London Businesses Stockpile for Games

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According to a survey from Transport for London (TfL) and London 2012, 59% of businesses in central London and around venues for the Olympic Games are considering ways to cut down on the number of deliveries they have during the events this summer. Through the research of 1,000 businesses – including hotels and restaurants – in May, 37% said they are thinking about stockpiling non-perishable goods before the Games.

The survey also found that 22% of businesses said they are considering delaying non-essential deliveries, while 20% said they are pondering setting up temporary stock rooms. Additionally, 8% are working with other businesses to ensure they are ready for the Games, but only 2% are thinking about preventative car maintenance to avoid breakdowns. From mid-July, motorists have been advised to avoid venues for the Games, areas around the Olympic Route Network and central London. Because of this, freight operators and their clients are being encouraged to plan ahead and change, reduce, re-time or re-route their deliveries wherever they can.

TfL and London 2012 have offered free travel advice to businesses that will be affected by the Games. Five hundred major companies have signed up for specific travel advice and drafted travel plans that they have shared with the organisation. TfL is also providing support to over 24,000 businesses, which have gone to transport workshops through weekly emails ahead of the Games. During the events, freight companies and businesses will be able to update their plans with twice daily workshops.

TfL Surface Transport director of planning Ben Plowden says that London will become a huge cultural and sporting venue during the Olympics. This means public transport and roads across central London and around venues will be particularly busy. Freight makes up 25% of central London traffic, so its encouraging to see so many businesses are thinking of ways to reduce deliveries. Some are even sharing resources, which may continue to benefit them even after the Games, he added.

The Living Room, a restaurant based in Soho, is ordering an additional 35% of non-perishable items to meet increased demand during the Games. It's stockpiling things like straws, linens, crockery and napkins and is storing the items in a basement under its bar. Tibits, a vegetarian restaurant in Soho, is sharing deliveries with several neighbouring businesses, including Ice Bar. The pair are sharing space as well, and ordering and storing non-perishable goods in their stock rooms and cellars before the Games.

Tibits general manager Edmund Farrow says they have been planning for the Olympics for the past six months. During this, they have kept a record of deliveries and collections received, and this has given them a clearer view on how to plan for the summer. They have talked to their suppliers and neighbours about their plans for the Games period. By sharing goods deliveries for things like fresh fruit, vegetables, beer and wine, they can reduce their deliveries and possible disruption. They also estimated how much extra space they would need to store larger items, like pasta and canned goods, he added.