The Olympics - How might it affect your business?
The Olympic Games is the world’s largest event. It involves thousands of athletes and officials, millions of visitors and can attract as many as a billion viewers worldwide. Whilst the eyes of the world settle on London there will be a huge logistical operation going on in the background that will affect traffic routes to and from the various venues.
In the summer of 2012, the Olympic Route Network (ORN) and Paralympic Route Network (PRN) will allow key participants to travel reliably to and from events, while keeping London moving. In most instances, the route will be open to general traffic and clear of obstructions/roadwork’s. At this point in time we are aware that time restrictions for any sort of loading, waiting and parking on “Core” ORN’s will be in place from 6am until midnight. There will also be road closures and time restrictions put in place on all other ORN’s and PRN’s.
When the Olympics and the Paralympic Games take place, a total of 34 venues will be used to host the events in London and across the UK. The main clusters will be in East London.
- The Olympic Park, (which includes 9 venues)
- ExCel, (five different arenas)
- Three venues in Greenwich and Four venues in Central London
- Wimbledon and Wembley
Other venues affecting our service area include,
- Eton Dorney, Windsor
- Lee Valley White Water Centre, Hertfordshire
And then the Live sites,
- Hyde Park, SW1
- Victoria Park, E3
- Potters Fields, SE1
- Walthamstow Town Square, E17
- General Gordon Place, SE18
Where space allows there will be temporary Games Lanes. These will only operate on around a third of the ORN/PRN. They'll only be accessible to athletes, games officials, the media and those that 'make the games happen', as well as on-call emergency vehicles. There will also be some temporary changes along the routes, including:
- Changes to traffic signal timings
- Restricted turns
- Suspension of parking or loading bays
- Suspension of some pedestrian crossings
We expect the operation of the ORN to begin just a couple of days before the start of the Games, and to finish a couple of days after the Games end. The Games run between the 27th July and 9th September.
How will this affect your waste collections?
Our ability to perform collections during the day will be severely affected by the introduction of the Olympic Route Networks and the Paralympic Route Networks. The time restrictions that will be in place, along with road closures and waiting restrictions will make it extremely hard for us to collect from some of our customer’s sites. In addition to the ORN’s/PRN’s there is expected to be an increase in traffic in and around London which will also interfere with our operations.
We propose that where possible, we will move collections onto our night service which will allow us to operate through the hours where some of the ORN/PRN restrictions are lifted (midnight to 6am). Even though we have planned to the best of our ability, using all the information that has been made available to ensure that we remain effective as we can during the Olympics, the truth of the matter is that until the Olympics actually arrives the full impact is difficult to measure in advance.
How do you know if your business will be affected?
There is a wealth of information on the web regarding the effect the Games will have. Here is a link to a site that details the ORN’s/PRN’s. Transport for London are regularly updating their web pages with information on affected areas of London – www.tfl.gov.uk/orn
We will be in contact with customers that we have identified as being in the affected areas to inform them of the change in collection times where necessary. We will need feedback from our clients with regard to any noise restrictions, security issues or other access issues that may hinder our ability to collect their waste overnight. Some things to be aware of are –
- Where there are agreements in place with regard to noise abatement orders or noise restrictions, these will not officially be lifted during the Games (TfL want night time collections but have not secured the legal ability for Operators to do by a relaxation of planning and noise abatement rules)
- There will be no relaxation on the restriction of LGV’s operating at night under the LLC scheme (see below) which severely restricts the roads that are available to use overnight.
- There will be no relaxing of parking restrictions or loading restrictions during the Games
- Any other traffic related restrictions or penalties will still be in place and as such cannot be bypassed
We mention these things only because we are well aware that not everybody will be able to have night collections and want to be as prepared as we can be. We need to know what the barriers to our customer having night collections are so that we can help them overcome them where possible.
What is Simply Waste doing in preparation for the Olympics?
We have been working hard to try and mitigate the impact the Games will have on our collection services. Some of the steps we have taken to try and ensure consistent service are as follows –
- We are employing more people to help cope with the demand the Olympics will place on our operation
- Putting extra vehicles on the road to give our fleet greater flexibility
- Increasing our night collections to facilitate collections to the sites that we are unable to get to during the day
- We will have emergency vehicles on standby to aid our customers and other business owners should they require a rapid, responsive waste or recycling collection (whether you are an existing Simply Waste customer or not)
- Our depot will be manned overnight to ensure that we remain as reactive as possible to any eventualities
We would like to point out that we are not charging any extra for putting these additional services in place and that we are keen to work with our clients to ensure that The Olympics has as little an impact on your businesses as possible.
If you have customers or sites in the London area and think they may be affected either directly or indirectly by the gamesthen please contact us. We would also urge you make sure you read through the reference material below. We have done our best to summarise the position on this page, but the detail is fully explained on the following sites;
TfL Olympic Page
TfL Out of Hours Deliveries
Freight Transport Association – Olympic Page
If you have any questions or concerns regarding The Olympics and how it may affect your waste and recycling collections please don’t hesitate to contact our Operations Team on 0800 781 7750 or by e-mailing email@example.com