MEDIA RELEASE 4 May 2012
London firms get ready for Olympic ‘Stress Test’
??Next week, close to a hundred firms in the capital will be taking part in an Olympic Games ‘Stress Test’, organised by Canary Wharf Group and Deloitte. The test, the biggest London-wide stress test for companies prior to the start of the Games, will take place on Tuesday 8th and Wednesday 9th May. Companies will use these days to encourage their people to test alternative travel arrangements and different ways of working to keep London open for business during the Games.
?Companies will test a variety of measures looking at IT, telecommunications and transport requirements during the games, while simultaneously completing a free, confidential online survey with Deloitte. Nearly half of participants are in the financial services sector, but there are also organisations involved from the consumer business, professional services, technology and public sectors. Around a third of companies taking part have under 250 employees, while a similar number have over 1,000 members of staff.
?Concerns about transport disruption and staff unavailability have consistently been amongst the biggest worries for businesses in London. In three rounds of Games Readiness research conducted by Deloitte, staff unavailability has been one of the two highest concerns. In the latest research conducted in January this year, it was the biggest concern with 42% of companies citing it as a worry, almost the same proportion as when asked last May. Fears over general transport disruption have eased slightly though, with 32% of companies raising this as a worry compared with 35% in May.
?Companies have already taken some steps to mitigate the impact of these issues with 43% of businesses intending to review their holiday policies ahead of the Games, while 33% plan to review flexible working. Participation in next week’s ‘Stress Test’ is clearly the biggest step yet for many of these companies.
?Mark Naysmith, Games Readiness director at Deloitte, said: “On the busiest days of London 2012, there are expected to be an extra three million journeys a day on the public transport system. It is essential that companies across the city, large and small, have thought through how their business and their people will cope with this period. Whilst working from home is the most popular measure being tested, it will not be practical for all businesses who still need to maintain client service levels. Therefore, alternative measures such as changing the route to work, mode of transport, or time of journey will all be key to coping.”
?Drew Gibson, Business Continuity Manager at Canary Wharf Group added: “The Stress Test is our warm up for the big event. Our plans aim to ensure that Canary Wharf and London remain open for business during the Games. Businesses across London will be better prepared for the Olympics if they prepare collectively.”
Organisations that wish to participate are required to register at www.deloitte.co.uk/stresstest.
For further information, please contact:
Canary Wharf Group plc
T: 020 7418 2236
M: 07779 888 075
T: +44 (0) 20 7303 8247
M: +44 (0) 7971 783533
NOTES TO EDITORS:
Difference between the Market Wide Exercise and the 8 and 9 May Stress Test
The UK Financial Authorities (FSA, Bank of England and HM Treasury) are committed to promoting and enhancing resilience of the financial sector. In support of this, the Authorities ran a Market-wide Exercise (MWE) on the 22 November 2011 involving 87 organisations from the finance sector which focused on cyber attack and payments disruption and also provided the opportunity for firms to assess their Olympic Planning preparedness.
The MWE is a finance sector initiative only whereas the Stress Test on 8 and 9 May test is applicable to all sectors.
About Canary Wharf Group plc
Canary Wharf Group is an integrated property development, investment and management group of companies.
Canary Wharf has a working population of 100,000 people in a diverse range of sectors for some of the world’s leading companies. It has paved the way for the regeneration of London’s Docklands and one in five Canary Wharf workers now lives in a local East London borough. It has helped London and the City consolidate its position at the centre of the business world.
Following the recent announcement to build a new headquarters for European Medicines Agency at 25 Churchill Place, the Group has plans in place to continue to develop Canary Wharf in the coming years.
Canary Wharf Group also has joint ventures outside Canary Wharf at 20 Fenchurch Street (with Land Securities) and the Shell Centre (with Qatari Diar).
www.canarywharf.com Twitter: @yourcanarywharf
About Canary Wharf Transport during the London 2012 Games
On 13 March Canary Wharf Group announced initiatives to keep the famous Canary Wharf business and shopping district in central London ‘open for business’ during the Games period.
Additional trains, boats and bikes; containers for non perishable deliveries; amended construction and delivery timetables and encouraging transport commutes outside peak times are among the initiatives to ensure that Canary Wharf is fully functional despite being within three miles of 20 Olympic venues.
Canary Wharf Group expects a 25% drop off in the usual peak time public transport commuter numbers during the Games. This, in combination with the transport initiatives in place, means that only a small number of evening rush hours (Friday 3 August and Monday, 6 to Thursday 9 August) at Canary Wharf Station are likely to face significant disruption during the Games, with waits of longer than half an hour if not enough people change their travel behaviour.
Canary Wharf commuters are encouraged, where possible, to avoid the rush hours during Games time, particularly at key stations such as London Bridge.
Commuters to Canary Wharf are already benefiting from more peak time Jubilee line trains, which will be increased again this Spring, to 30 trains an hour. During Games time, four of the westbound evening peak trains will start empty from Canary Wharf, helping to balance demand from Canary Wharf commuters with that of spectators travelling to and from the Olympic Park. A stream of up to date communication will indicate the best routes to get home.
Further information on the assistance available to businesses and individuals can be found on www.getaheadofthegames.com