MP enters Olympics row
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By Chris Tindall THE CHAIR OF the transport select committee has waded into the row over relocating hauliers during the Olympics by urging organisers to help a Hackney-based operator.
Louise Ellman MP has written to Lord Coe, chairman of the London Organising Committee of the Olympic Games (Locog), saying she is surprised that an acceptable compromise has not yet been reached with Essex Flour & Grain.
In her letter, Ellman says: “It strikes me that this issue might best be resolved by mediation. May I suggest that, as a matter of urgency, you mandate Locog to engage in mediation with Mr Spinks?” The haulage company claims it will be severely affected by road closures and security issues during the Games.
Its chief executive, Michael Spinks, is pursuing a claim against Locog through the Lands Tribunal, and it is one of 50 businesses using London law firm Bindmans to find out if it has a case against the Olympics organisers.
He has found an alternative site in Enfield the company could use, but needs to act fast and wants help with relocation.
A Locog spokesman says: “Our transport team has analysed the firm’s deliveries and movements and in March provided them with tailored transport information. The company has also been invited to TfL’s business and freight planning workshops. These proposals and invitations have not been accepted.” • Labour has criticised the ‘panicked’ closure of a key section of the M4 between London and Heathrow airport by the Highways Agency at the weekend following the discovery of a crack in the structure, and questioned just how ready the UK’s transport network is to cope with the Olympics at the end of the month. Boston Manor Viaduct was due to reopen at the end of this week.