Plumbing entrepreneur calls Olympic lock-down 'last straw' for business

Pimlico Plumbers founder Charlie Mullins has hit out at Lord Coe following LOCOG's announcement that Central London could be a no-go area for up to two weeks before London 2012.

by Rebecca Burn-Callander
Last Updated: 19 Aug 2013

Mullins believes that the move will heap added pressure on businesses already struggling due to recession, calling the Olympics 'an economic white elephant' that will affect the country for years to come. 

Some 30% of London’s road network will be affected over the course of the Games, either through road closures or because of the ‘zil lanes’ for Olympic VIPs. Key routes such as Victoria Embankment and Knightsbridge will be running at half their capacity. This means that firms like Pimlico Plumbers, which has a fleet of more than 120 vehicles, will face major disruption.

Mullins has hinted that he will be encouraging his employees to ignore the new road restriction, however. 'Now, I’m not telling my engineers to ride roughshod through the route of an Olympic cycle race, but sometimes plumbers need to go places that other people don’t,' he says. 'If there’s an emergency call, the Olympics ain’t going to stop us.'

Any fine incurred will have to be taken on the chin, he says, but then, the whole nation will be taking a financial hit from London 2012. 'It doesn’t take a maths genius to work out we’re going to be left out of pocket by the Olympic,' he says.

Former athlete Lord Coe gets the brunt of Mullins' rage: 'I hope Seb Coe has kept up his regular jogging sessions because he might need to be on his toes rather sharpish if he and his team put any more pressure on London business,' he warns.

'It's very easy for them to shut the roads for the greater good of the Olympics and offer advice not to drive in central London. It’s not so easy when you run a business that's based on driving around the capital.'

Will your business be negatively affected by the Olympics? Leave a comment below.

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