Q&A: London 2012 TIME TO GET READY
Q. OUR MAIN OFFICE IS LOCATED IN CHARING CROSS AND DESPITE OUR CENTRAL LONDON LOCATION MANY OF OUR EMPLOYEES DRIVE TO WORK EACH MORNING. WHAT CAN I ADVISE THEM TO DO DURING THE OLYMPICS AND PARALYMPICS?
A. During the Games, the road network in London will be much busier than usual, which may add significant delays to your journey. Central London will be transformed into a major Games venue, with many events taking place in the heart of the capital. To help make this happen TfL will be putting in place additional pedestrian and traffic management measures in central London during the 2012 Games, which may include restricting turns into roads, suspending parking and loading bays, and changing bus lanes and stops. In addition, parts of the Olympic Route Network (ORN) will run through key areas of central London.
The ORN is expected to begin just a couple of days before the Games begin, and TfL plans to end its operation as soon as possible after the Olympic Games. The Paralympic Route Network (PRN), which will be significantly reduced in size, will similarly be installed just a couple of days before the Paralympic Games.
To avoid unnecessary delays, we suggest informing staff now about the need to change the way they travel to work. Tools for planning staff travel next summer are available to download via the website: www.london2012.com/traveladvice forbusiness. This includes a survey businesses can use to understand their employees’ travel habits and a fact sheet for SMEs, which details top tips on how they can start planning in order to keep running smoothly throughout next summer.
While the road and public transport networks will both be busier than usual during the Games, public transport is encouraged as a better alternative to car use. In the first instance, businesses are encouraged to reduce staff travel and decide to what extent travel is needed. Working from home, if possible, is encouraged. If journeys are essential, look at rescheduling staff travel outside spectator peak times. The busiest times at each station can be found on the affected area maps. Employees should also investigate different routes and types of transport: buses, walking or cycling.
Several businesses working with Travel Advice for Business are currently identifying staff whose roles are not dependent on being on-site. They are encouraging “non-essential” staff to take leave or to work remotely where feasible. Businesses must think about what technology employees will need to work from home, such as a laptop and wireless internet, as this will need to be put in place well ahead of next summer. Multisite businesses, with one or more sites in a Games hotspot, are encouraging staff to use alternative office locations in areas that won’t be affected during the Games.
For more advice, please visit the London 2012 Travel Advice for Business website (www.london2012.com/traveladvicefor business). It offers a wealth of information and businesses can sign up for regular updates to help prepare for the Games.