Industry protests cuts to weekday District Line services to Olympia CC

More than 20 of the biggest names in the conference organiser community have co-signed a letter to London Underground and London Rail to protest cuts to the District Line tube service to Kensington Olympia.
 
The letter, penned in association with the Association of Event Organisers (AEO), was sent to London Underground MD Mike Brown today criticising the decision to cut weekday tube services to Olympia.
 
A key point raised in the letter is that 73 per cent of the 1.1m people visiting Olympia’s exhibition and conference facilities annually use the District Line tube service to get the venue. The letter draws on examples of delegates to Olympia and points out 240 jobs directly rely on the Olympia Conference Centre.
 
“[Closing the service] will be disastrous for the future of London Olympia,” the letter stated. “The only alternative is for delegates to change networks onto an overcrowded overland service. The result will be conferences that will not be able to attract as many delegates, inevitably forcing some to relocate, and others to close.
 
“Of those delegates that do continue to come, many more will be forced to drive, increasing congestion and pollution in this already overcrowded area of London. Far fewer consumers will attend the large consumer shows, calling their future into question. Trade shows could close altogether. Lower visitor numbers will have a massive impact on local businesses and the London economy, inevitably costing jobs.
 
“What’s more, the loss of conferences could cost business and jobs throughout the UK economy. It is not an exaggeration to say that if the line does close, it could be the start of the slow death of London Olympia.”
 
As well as the AEO’s Austen Hawkins, those who have signed the letter are: UBM’s Jane Risby-Rose, BBC Haymarket’s Laura Biggs, Clarion Event’s Simon Kimble, Emap’s Malcolm Gough, Mack Brooks’ Stephen Brooks, Montgomery Exhibition’s Christopher Newton, Tarsus Group’s Doug Emslie, Upper Street Events’ Paul Byrom, CloserStill Media’s Andy Center, Media 10’s Rob Nathan, Ocean’s James Brooks-Ward, Reed Exhibitions’ Justin Tadman, Quartz Publishing’s Paul Michael, TE Trade Events’ Mark Moloney, Brand Events’ Chris Hughes, UKIP Media and Events’ Caroline Pepper, VCM Events’ Henri Cash, William Reed’s Andrew Reed, Informa’s Peter Hall and Brintex’s Malcolm Taylor.
 
Olympia is currently undergoing a £20m redevelopment programme.
 
What are your thoughts on the District Line services changes? Email us: conference-news@mashmedia.net

Paul Colston

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Paul Colston

Managing Editor, Conference News & Conference & Meetings World.

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