Road restrictions during Olympics could inhibit fresh produce deliveries to London, claim market tenants

Essential fresh produce deliveries may not reach some of London's restaurants during the next year's Olympic Games because of road restrictions around the East London site.

This was the fear expressed by chairman of New Spitalfields Market Tennants Association. Chris Hutchinson, at this year's Re:Fresh conference, held in London this week.

He said that many of the planned road restrictions will block key access/exit points of the neighbouring New Spitalfields Market, in Leyton.

The 13 hectare (31-acre) market – which this year celebrates 20 years at its East London site – supplies fresh fruit and vegetables and flower to many of the capital's restaurants.

London 2012’s head of catering, cleaning and waste services and Re:Fresh guest speaker Jan Matthews, said: "We understand that there could be road restrictions for up to 18 hours a day outside our market – which will be very detrimental to the supply of fresh fruit and vegetables to the south east of England during this time as we are a huge hub."

"We are extremely concerned – small restaurants will need us during this time. So we are looking for reassurance from you that we are going to be able to deliver."

"With 18-hour restrictions outside our market it will be impossible to supply London."

Matthews said that representatives from the 2012 committee are aware of the potential problems facing the market and that a meeting is being held to "find alternative routes to the market."

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