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Olympian urges van drivers to plan for Games-time

London, UK: A former “white van man” who is competing at the London 2012 Games is urging the capital’s van drivers not to get caught out and to start planning now so they can operate smoothly during the Games.

Simon Terry, a Team GB archer, has teamed up with Transport for London (TfL) and London 2012 to encourage white van drivers and traders, such as electricians and plumbers, to plan ahead to avoid delays and congestion during this summer’s Olympic and Paralympic Games.

Although more than three quarters of businesses making deliveries in London say they are prepared for the Games, only around one in five have considered using alternative delivery routes to avoid congestion hotspots or getting deliveries overnight according to a survey by Transport for London.

With just four weeks to go before the Olympic Route Network comes into operation on 25 July, all businesses including van drivers are being urged to use TfL’s Freight Journey Planner to plan routes through affected areas.

The Freight Journey Planner has been designed to help delivery and servicing companies of all sizes plan their delivery and driving routes around London during the Games, based on the date and time of day, and size of their vehicle. It will help businesses identify where they are permitted to load/unload and park and estimate a time of arrival for each route based on traffic information. Businesses can also get information on the impact of the Games on roads and how to plan ahead at GetAheadoftheGames.com.

Ben Plowden, director of planning at TfL Surface Transport, said: “During the Olympic and Paralympic Games, London will become a massive sporting and cultural venue so we don’t want people to get caught out. Roads in central London, around the Olympic Route Network, road events and venues will be exceptionally busy. All companies and tradespeople, including van drivers, should plan ahead to avoid the busiest times and places wherever possible, and allow more time for their journeys to be made.”

Simon Terry is competing in this summer’s Olympic archery event for Team GB and used to be a roofer. He said: “From my experience, driving to and from jobs is a vital everyday activity for many tradespeople. It will be essential for businesses, from builders to couriers, to change their usual journeys. By planning ahead, they will be able to avoid any road restrictions, re-schedule work for outside peak times or leave extra time for journeys to allow for delays.”

Simon Terry’s three top tips to help firms plan are:

  • If you can, change your journeys to avoid the busiest times and days, and make sure you know when and where road events are taking place;
  • For essential trips, plan each route using the Freight Journey Planner http://freightplanner.tfl.gov.uk  to avoid congestion and road restrictions;
  • Talk to your customers, suppliers and employees and explain that the Games may affect how the business operates, then work with them to find solutions.

For more information on travel planning, visit www.GetAheadoftheGames.com, which has all the tools and information you need to plan ahead and avoid the travel hotspots or follow @GAOTG on Twitter. For live travel advice both before, during and after the Games, follow @TfLTrafficNews.