London 2012: Firms near Olympic Park plan to sue Locog

Image caption,
Michael Spinks said the burden on local businesses was unfair

About 40 firms based near the Olympic Park plan to sue the organiser of the Games over fears of a "devastating" impact on their businesses.

The companies claim they have been "left out to rot" by the London Organising Committee of the Olympic Games (Locog).

They claim road closures during the Games will have a devastating effect on the ability to trade.

Locog said it was working closely with authorities to minimise disruption.

'Playground bully'

Michael Spinks, managing director of the food company Essex Flour & Grain, based on Eastway, Hackney, said Locog had reneged on a relocation proposal two years ago and "left them out to rot".

He said despite assurances there were no proposals to close roads in the vicinity of his business in Hackney, close to the Olympic Park press centre, maps released to the public contradict that.

Mr Spinks claimed requests for permits for suppliers and staff had been ignored.

He said: "Locog behaves like the playground bully. They don't seem to care about the welfare of their neighbours.

"We are expected to fall in line and if we survive we survive, and if we don't it is all for the greater good of the Olympics.

"It's an unacceptable risk to a business established in 1853 and responsible for up to 100 jobs."

He said he wanted justice for the companies involved.

Kevin Farley, manager of furniture retailer Pennywise Furniture, in Rothbury Road, Hackney, whose company has also joined the campaign for legal action, said: "People aren't going to sit in traffic for two hours to pick up a mattress.

"It will totally decimate our business."

The group of businesses is being represented by Bindmans. Nobody from the law firm was able to comment.

A London 2012 spokesman said final road closures were not yet decided.

He said proposed measures had been submitted to the relevant local authorities and it was for them to make traffic regulation orders.

He added: "We want to ensure the people who live and work in the vicinity of our venues are able to continue going about their business with the minimum of disruption."

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