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With only around eight months to go before the opening ceremony of the London 2012 Olympic Games, it has been revealed that 26 per cent of road freight operators – or one in four – are still not prepared for the logistical issues they will face.

A survey by the Freight Transport Association (FTA) explained that while progress is being made by a large number of HGV insurance customers ahead of the gathering – with the number of unprepared companies down by ten per cent since July – transport operators are still not too comfortable with their contingency plans.

According to the FTA, issues such as the provision of extra vehicles and staff, as well as the preparedness of customers regarding changes to their deliveries, are holding the industry back. While there is marked progress relating to the responsiveness of hauliers, the FTA says the sector is still rather short of where it needs to be.

The survey went on to ask the industry to indicate its knowledge of the Olympic Route Network (ORN), which effectively closes down the chance of deliveries between 6am and midnight. Meanwhile, a number of so-called Games Lanes have been established, which are designated for athletes, Games officials and marketing partners, effectively affecting additional operations. Worryingly, 18 per cent of respondents reported that they had scant knowledge of these facilities, while 26 per cent reportedly had no knowledge at all. However, at the other end of the scale, around one fifth felt they knew a lot about the Olympic Route Network and Games Lanes – doubling the number happy to say the same in July.

FTA head of policy for London Natalie Chapman explained: “While progress is being made it is worrying that there are still so many businesses unprepared for the Games. This is a huge concern, not just for industry, but for anyone who wants the Games to be a success. A prolonged period of high demand – FTA is telling its members to treat the Games and the Paralympic Games like a three-month Christmas period – against the backdrop of severe delivery restrictions poses a huge challenge.”

She added: “But although for some forward-thinking companies the race to prepare for this enormous global event has already begun, many businesses haven’t even started warming up yet.”

Ms Chapman added that Transport for London has provided postcode data to transport operators to aid with planning ahead.

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