Small Hackney firms adversely affected by Olympics take legal action as Meg Hillier takes their cause to Parliament
PUBLISHED: 14:03 18 April 2012
Around 40 businesses are also seeking to take legal action against Olympic chiefs for lack of transport information during the Games this summer
The plight of Hackney Wick’s small firms, which fear for their futures in wake of the mighty Olympic machine, was taken to Parliament yesterday.
MP for Hackney South and Shoreditch Meg Hillier submitted a petition asking the government to step in to ensure businesses based just off the A12 are granted free access to their premises during the Games this summer.
The hauliers, retailers, cafes and garages there are concerned London 2012 organisers have not given them enough information about the planned security restrictions and road closures which will affect their ability to trade.
Despite asking the London Organising Committee of the Olympic Games (Locog) for two years how long transport restrictions will last and how many hours affected routes will be out of action, they have not had any concrete answers.
Graham Phelps of Phelps Transport, based in White Post Lane, whose haulage company relies on the roads, said they were the “losers of the Olympics.”
“We’ve been given no information apart from them saying we will be able to operate as normal apart form a little bit of extra congestion which won’t adversely affect our businesses.
“But on certain days there will be hundreds of thousands of people going through those gates, we are in an area where everyone has to pass past and we can’t divert.
“In the current economic climate no one has bags of money in the bank, if we have two months out of business it could send those companies under.”
He is leading of a group of around 40 companies who have instructed law firm Bindmans to take legal action against Locog over the possible restricted access, the failure to provide relocation packages for the worst-affected firms, or compensation for any negative impact on trading.
The affected companies are located directly outside a compulsory purchase zone, inside which affected businesses were relocated and provided with compensation.
A London 2012 spokesman said final road closures were not yet decided, but 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.”