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Green London 2012 freight plan hits funding snag

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UNCERTAINTY SURROUNDS freight routes for bringing construction materials into the London's Olympic Park because funding for a vital canal lock had yet to be secured, London 2012 bosses admitted last week.

Olympic Delivery Authority (ODA) construction director Howard Shiplee told MPs last Wednesday that he was unable to confirm that the ODA would be able to meet its target of delivering 50% of freight to the park by rail or water.

Shiplee told the Transport Select Committee that the ODA was 'progressing a much more detailed process, understanding how [the target] is to be delivered and exactly what can be delivered'.

Essential to the movement of freight by water to the site is the construction of a £15M lock at the mouth of the River Lea (NCE 15 December 2005).

ODA chief executive David Higgins stated at the NCE Games Brie g in September last year that the lock had secured funding and would denitely go ahead.

However, a British Waterways spokesman this week denied that was the case and said that negotiations were ongoing with five funding partners.

'To be able to fit in with the ODA's construction timetable we will need a decision on funding to be made by the end of January, ' he added.

'If that happens then we will look to appoint a design and build contractor to be on site by March.' He was unable to reveal the identities of the funding partners, but in addition to the ODA, British Waterways is working with the a number of organisations, including the Environment Agency, Transport for London and the London Development Agency on plans for the sustainable restoration of the Bow Back Rivers and surrounding waterway network.

Both Higgins and Shiplee will be speaking at the Games Briefing on 7 March in London.

For more information go to www. gamesbrieng. co. uk

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