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Olympics force key London jobs to a halt

The Olympic Games will have a major impact on construction work in London with some projects suspended, others winding down and deliveries proving difficult, NCE has learnt.

Several big clients are carrying out less work during the Games, while many other jobs will be affected by restrictions and Olympic traffic.

Crossrail has already stopped work at Pudding Mill Lane, near the Olympic Park, and Custom House, near ExCeL, with work not due to restart at the sites until late September.

Transport for London (TfL) is halting non-essential work on its Tube and road networks for the duration of the Games - which run from 27 July to 12 August - and has no planned engineering works until mid-September. Meanwhile Network Rail has admitted that its ability to carry out major projects in the capital will be limited.

One freelance Tube worker claimed thousands of people would be without work during the Games. “People come and go with the work,” the source told NCE. “Now there’ll be no work for two months. There have been attempts to find work for them but many of these people specialise in work on the Tube - they have nowhere to go.”

NCE understands that many other jobs in central London are winding down during the Olympics, while some that would naturally be ramping up are staying flat.

Thames Water said almost a third of its work would be affected by a streetworks embargo.

Civil Engineering Contractors Association director of external affairs Alasdair Reisner, said: “[The Olympics] presents a major challenge in central London and some sites will cope better than others. But there are few projects on site now that were bid on before the Games was won in 2005. We knew this was coming.

“People are taking a pragmatic view. There is no point trying to fight the tide. Things will be very quiet on some sites.”

TfL insisted the suspension of works had been well communicated to its contractors. Chief operating officer for surface transport Garret Emmerson said: “Although we are
suspending non-essential works on the Tube and road network for the duration of the Games, our contractors are benefiting from a huge range of works essential to their efficient
operation,” he added.

“For example, the major physical preparatory works on the Olympic Route Network will involve around 2,000 people, including over half the country’s road marking teams,” he said.

A Network Rail spokesman said thousands of extra trains at the start and end of its timetable would “severely limit” time available for overnight engineering work. A Crossrail statement said the project would continue during the Games, but added: “We recognise that there will need to be some constraints on our operations while the Games are in progress.”

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