SMMT News UK Manufacturing

SMMT members on inside track for 2012 London Paralympics

24 August 2009 #SMMT News #UK Manufacturing



Members of the Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders’ (SMMT) bus and coach section recently heard first-hand about the challenging transport needs of participants in the 2012 London Paralympics, and have begun to assess the extent of the modifications they will have to make to their vehicles. A Paralympics Working Group has been set up by SMMT to concentrate on meeting those challenges in collaboration with the Games organisers and relevant government departments.


“Meeting the 2012 transport requirements will be challenging; solutions have to be found within a tight schedule, given that there is a fixed timetable for the Games,” said Paul Everitt, SMMT’s chief executive. “I am very pleased that SMMT has been able to help its members by opening doors at a relatively early stage and giving them the opportunity to influence decisions which will have a major effect on their ability to contribute to the success of the Games.”
The transport needs were explained by representatives of the Games’ organisers – LOCOG (London Organising Committee of the Olympic Games). There will be a demand for minibuses, buses and coaches. Several hundred vehicles will be required, for a variety of transport services. Potentially the most challenging prospect for manufacturers of larger buses is that of having to provide vehicles capable of taking up to eight wheelchairs which will themselves vary in size and weight according to the sport in which their users participate. As a direct result of this exercise, manufacturers have identified a number of consequential effects on vehicle design.
Representatives of the Department for Transport and Vehicle Operator Services Agency gave their initial views on how the modifications could be handled within the present UK regulatory framework. Any necessary amendments to that process need to be identified quickly to allow manufacturers the maximum time to change their vehicle designs.
The meeting will be followed by others to discuss specific aspects of vehicle design and related issues of the infrastructure to be provided at the various Paralympics venues. The new SMMT working group will provide dedicated information and negotiating resource for interested members. Participation is open to any SMMT member supplying the UK bus and coach market.

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