Photo; Athletes and officials from the Australian Paralympic team about to board a Monmouthshire County Council coach
As London’s Olympic and Paralympic Games bring together over 200 countries to compete for the honour of winning gold, Monmouthshire County Council is playing a significant part by ensuring athletes arrive at venues and return to their bases on time. It’s all systems go for the council’s transport operation as staff ensure logistics for both events run like clockwork.
Richard Cope, manager of the council’s Passenger Transport Unit, was initially approached by the Australian Paralympic Committee two years ago to co-ordinate their transport requirements for training in Cardiff and Newport. However, as the opening ceremonies for the Games loomed his team was also handed responsibility for transporting the two hundred Aussie athletes from Heathrow to their Cardiff base and transferring them to the Olympic Village.
Richard and his team are also working with the Welsh Government and the Community Transport Association of Wales to transfer Olympic squads representing Hong Kong, New Zealand, South Africa, Trinidad and Tobago and Botswana as well as the Mexican Paralympic team. This will involve collecting athletes from Heathrow and delivering them to the Olympic Village and training events in south Wales.
Richard will be on hand in Cardiff for two weeks throughout mid-August to oversee the smooth operation of this huge logistical exercise. Richard said: “We shall be co-ordinating daily requirements for transport on a 24/7 basis and it promises to be a very exciting time!”
Monmouthshire’s cabinet member for county operations, C Cllr Bryan Jones added: “It’s a great honour to assist in the organisation of the 2012 London Paralympic & Olympic Games. The council’s Passenger Transport Unit is noted for its commitment and professional organisation and its involvement with the Games is sure to enhance this reputation.”