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Wake-up call for London convenience stores over Olympic planning

23 March
00:58 2012

Independent retailers in London are being urged to start planning their strategies for receiving deliveries or getting to the cash and carry during the Olympic and Paralympic Games this summer, reports today’s Independent Retail News.

Ian Wainwright, road freight programme manager at Transport for London (TFL), told Independent Retail News: “With just 127 days to go, now is the time to wake up and plan for your business.”

But he stressed the solutions would be different for each retailer, depending on where their stores were located. “If your store is on the Olympic route network, that’s going to be a lot different than if you’re somewhere out in the suburbs, for example.”

The Olympic route network will cover 109 miles of the capital’s 9,200 miles of road. About one third of these routes will have “Olympic lanes” that are open only to official Games traffic. “For those areas, there’s a real restriction on deliveries across the kerbside,” Wainwright said.

Congestion is also likely for vehicles trying to cross the Olympic routes, while in areas immediately around the Olympic venues there will be “airport-style” security measures and businesses will be contacted by the relevant authorities about what they need to do.

Wainwright suggested stores look at reducing the number of deliveries they receive during the Games, for example by stocking up on non-perishable goods if they have the storage space. Others in highly impacted areas might need to receive deliveries at night and are being urged to speak to their local councils to work around any restrictions. A code of practice for overnight deliveries has been drawn up.

“For convenience retailers it’s about understanding what the issues are in their particular area, what they can do themselves and how they can work flexibly with the people making the deliveries to keep their business going and make sure they can thrive during the Games,” Wainwright said.

For further information, go to www.tfl.gov.uk/2012

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