Businesses need to prepare now for travel disruptions in the UK as a result of the Olympics this summer, Airmic Live heard

London 2012 Olympic Games

Nobody in the UK should expect this summer to be business as usual. Only six months until the 2012 Olympic Games hit London and the business community will face a monumental challenge: how to keep the city moving?

Businesses in the UK can expect severe disruptions to their supply chains and transport networks, two leading experts warned Airmic members in a live conference call.

Rose McArthur, from Travel Advice for Business, London 2012, and Gareth Howell, risk manager for BBA Aviation, discussed how businesses can prepare themselves.

Travel will be severely affected during the nine weeks of the Games, McArthur warned. “We need to make sure we keep the UK and London moving, and that’s where you come in.”

London is expecting to host 55,000 members of the “Olympic Family” as well as a total of 8.8m ticketed spectators

London is expecting to host 55,000 members of the “Olympic Family”, referring to athletes, officials, sponsors, the media and other VIPs, as well as a total of 8.8m ticketed spectators.

“There’ll be an additional 3.3m journeys made on London’s transport system on the busiest competition days,” added McArthur.

What does this mean for delays? People can expect an additional wait of over 30 minutes to board a London underground train at peak times, as well as severe impacts on deliveries (such as petrol or food).

McArthur said organisations need to plan ahead and work around peak times and busy competition days. “Staff could work from home on busy days or come in at different times or walk and cycle to work. It will be busier on certain days and [Travel Advice for Business] can show you when.”

Information on travel disruptions is available on the London 2012 Travel Advice for Business website for over 40 different stations in London.

Howell agreed and also suggested surveying staff. Reviewing travel options and flexible working hours is a good way to prepare your organisation, he said.

“We [at BBA Aviation] conducted a staff survey to find out how each person gets to work, who is planning to take holidays during the Games and who is potentially flexible on their working hours.”

Questionnaires and surveys for staff are available on the Travel Advice for Business website.