Businesses in London and other UK cities are facing potential disruption during the Games due to a massive increase in overseas visitors, according to a website set up to advise about travel disruption during the Games.

According to, deliveries will be difficult during the Games due to restrictions on some of London’s major roads. Staff will have difficulties getting to work as all transport options will be affected. Boarding times at major stations are expected to be more than 30 minutes and severe overcrowding is expected.

The web site suggests that companies avoid non-essential journeys, plan deliveries in advance of the Games, stockpile goods where necessary, and ask staff to take alternative forms of transport, for example by bicycle or walking.

Whilst businesses near to Games venues will be the worst affected, businesses across London are likely to be affected to some degree.

Knowledge Train, which delivers PRINCE2 training in London, has put together its own light-hearted, fictional risk analysis of a business planning how staff will get to work during the Games. The cartoon is free to share and to re-publish, providing a link is given back to the original website (

Author’s Bio: Simon Buehring is an experienced project manager, consultant and trainer. He is the Managing Director for Knowledge Train which offers PRINCE2 and project management training. Simon has extensive experience within the IT industry. Contact him via email –


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  9. Amusing.
    I was in Sydney for the 2000 Olympics and despite all these issues being raised then, trafics and transport were the best they had been in years during the Olympic games.  So, as I read this I kept wondering – where is the evidence for these risk ratings?


    • Craig, the funny thing about risks is that sometime they fail to materialise. I would be surprised if the organisers of the Sydney Olympics did not take this risk into some sort of consideration. The fact that this did not turn into an issue is probably due to the following:

      The London Borough of Hounslow Contingency Planning Unit published a study about various planning aspects and various scenarios associated with the forthcoming London Games (see in In page 40 of their report they make the following observation:

      “The increased number of people visiting the borough would most likely put a strain on the rail system as shown above. However, past Olympic cities have seen an almost inverse effect. In the Sydney 2000 Olympic Games it was found that the rail services were almost unaffected (Hensher and Brewer, 2002). This same effect would be due to London residents working at home, skipping work, and trying to avoid Olympic venues altogether.”

      Whether this behaviour is materialised in London is yet to be seen and, if it does, we could almost suggest that a trend is emerging, reflecting crowd psychology and behaviour. I am looking forward to see how it actually pens out.


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    Interesting comment about Sydney brown_note. It might be true that the worst of the predictions for the Sydney games proved not to materialize. However, nobody is really sure what the effects will be. There is clearly a risk that London become gridlocked, that the train and underground network are unable to cope and it is a sensible thing for companies to assess in advance how to reduce these risks, or how to deal with them if they occur. It might be that Londoners will leave the city because they anticipate a high level of disruption. Clearly, if enough people leave, then the transport system may run smoother than it does on average day. To be honest, nobody will know until next week. I’m keeping  my fingers crossed that we will avoid the worst outcomes.


  14. We’re one week into the Olympics and funnily enough the travel to work has been smoother than usual! The quote you gave, Shim:

    ‘This same effect would be due to London residents working at home, skipping work, and trying to avoid Olympic venues altogether.’

    is what I believe may have happened in London this time. Well done to all businesses and commuters who did their risk analysis, making travel options easier for everybody.


    • Hi Alison, absolutely great news.

      Seems like an emerging trend in Olympic cities. Similar results were also reported during the Sydney Olympic games which suggests that the crowd behavior is changing given the perceived impact. This is fascinating observation of group adaptation to changing circumstances.


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