London 2012 Olympics: Overnight delivery plan

Oxford Street at night
Image caption The plan is designed to ease congestion in very busy areas

Deliveries to shops and businesses will take place throughout the night during the 2012 London Olympics.

By day, many of London's roads will be used by athletes and Games officials - meaning lorries won't be able to deliver goods.

London's councils usually have strict restrictions on night-time deliveries to prevent residents being disturbed.

But a huge influx of visitors means the need for goods will be high so councils may relax the overnight rules.

Westminster Council has confirmed the relaxation during the games and other boroughs may follow.

Transport for London is overseeing the Olympic routes.

Commissioner Peter Hendy warned it was essential that deliveries got through.

He said: "We're very concerned about freight and deliveries.

'Strike a balance'

"London is a thriving commercial centre and businesses in London will need their deliveries even during the games period.

"It's possible they'll need even more deliveries because of the number of visitors."

The Freight Transport Association represents hauliers and lorry companies.

Spokeswoman Natalie Chapman said: "If delivery vehicles can't get in at night, and can't get in during the day, then the goods just aren't going to get there.

"For Londoners that means they can't get their paper, their pint of milk and their other groceries."

Westminster will be one of the areas most affected.

Martin Low, transport commissioner at Westminster Council, said: "It may mean some deliveries taking place at night but that's just adjusting to make sure we have a fantastic Olympics.

"It's about trying to strike a balance so residents get a reasonable night's sleep."

Westminster Council said it might consider extending a relaxation of the rules on overnight deliveries if the Olympic trial proved successful.

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