Plans for Channel Tunnel Mobile Phone Coverage

It has been reported that passengers using the Channel Tunnel will soon have access to mobile phone coverage in time for the London 2012 Olympic Games. According to reports from The Daily Telegraph newspaper, a technology group established in France has found a way to connect the tunnel to mobile networks. Although a spokesman for Eurotunnel could not confirm this, he did say that a mobile network connection on the Channel Tunnel was being looked into. He told AFP “Customers demand mobile telephones wherever you go these days”.

The Channel Tunnel, which was opened in 1994, links Folkestone to Calais and is the longest undersea tunnel on the globe. Eurostar offers passenger services from London to Paris and Brussels and Eurotunnel provides a vehicle service. The three tunnels are over thirty miles long, most of which runs under the English Channel.

Further Reading on Transportation

London Rail Link
London Underground Workers
Watford Station
London Transport Olympic Games
Survival Guide to Working in London During the Olympics
Business Parking in London

London Fashion Week – A lot of Fuss or Serious Business?

Although some may see London Fashion Week as a vacuous show of vanity it should also be remembered that the fashion industry in London contributes an enormous twenty one billion pounds to the UK economy annually.

Now in its 28th Year, London Fashion Week is a six day event which brings in buyers from across the globe who are expected to place orders topping one million pounds. London Fashion week is also a chance for UK designers to showcase this seasons fashion lines, and can make or break a fashion label.

In addition, the fashion industry in the UK is the creative industry’s largest employer, providing 1.3 million jobs, which accounts for approximately 4.5% of the UK’s workforce.

3 Million Sq Ft of Office Space Lost in London’s West End

According to a report nearly 3 million square feet of London’s West End office space was converted into homes or apartments between 2001 and 2009. The report goes on to say that due to the conversion of West End office space into residential homes, competition by companies looking for new premium office space in the area has increased.

The study, undertaken by H2SO, found that a total over four million square feet of West End office space was converted into homes,  leisure facilities, restaurants and other alternative uses. In addition the study showed that the drive to convert office space into residences was largely fuelled by high property values, with homes worth twice that of office buildings in key areas such as St James and Mayfair.

Due to the decline of office space in the heart of the West End a large number of new office buildings and business centres are being developed within the Kings Cross, Paddington and Euston areas, which is good news for companies looking for Grade A office accommodation.

A Third of SME’s in London Trade Solely Online

According to a recent survey one out of three small businesses in London are selling their products exclusively online.

Research undertaken by PeoplePerHour showed than thirty four percent of small businesses in London operate without a bricks-and-mortar presence on the High Street, and only trade via the internet. The survey showed that even the sixty one percent of small businesses who do have a physical store front presence still make half of their sales on the web.

Forty seven percent of SME’s currently do the majority of their business online, while the number of companies selling more than fifty percent of their services or products via the web has increased twenty seven percent.

The number of firms which sell more than half of their products or services online has increased by 27 per cent, with 47 per cent of SMEs now doing the majority of their business on the web. Many small businesses are attracted to online sales due to cost-effectiveness and the reach their online presence can provide.

London Sees Increase in Office Space Occupancy

Businesses are being advised to secure new offices as soon as possible to take advantage of current rental deals on offer. According to DTZ, office occupancy costs have fallen at some of the UK’s corporate business centres, in part due to the recession and the eurozone crisis. However, London is still one of the five most expensive places to rent office space in the world, along with Tokyo, Hong Kong, Zurich and Geneva.

Further good news for London office space providers is that in the second half of last year office space rental showed an increase from the previous six months. During the last three months of 2011, office space take-up in London reached three million square feet. Office space availability in London dropped by nine percent over 2011.

For further information and to read the full report please go to DTZ.

Additional information on commercial property, real estate, Central London’s exclusive office centres, setting up your first office and renting versus buying office space.

Logistics Link South 2012 Event

Logistics Link South 2012 is a logistics industry event taking place on the twenty first and twenty second of February at Sandown Park, Esher. Logistic Link South 2012 will provide individuals and businesses with the opportunity to learn how to improve customer service, become more cost effective and boost productivity.

At the Logistics Link South event attendees will be able to share ideas and network in the Byers Networking Lounge, attend free technology seminars and meet with over one hundred companies providing the latest software, equipment, services and systems.

Information on Tech News, Technology Issues and London’s Tech Clusters.

Plans Afoot to keep Watford Metropolitan Station Open

Watford Borough councillors are planning on petitioning London Underground in the hopes of keeping Watford Metropolitan station open. Due to the Croxley Rail Link plans the Watford line would be redirected to Watford Junction, instead of Croxley Station.

Current plans would see Watford Met closing as a passenger station, however it would still be used as a train storage facility. Representative from the Watford area along with locals would like to see the station remain open hope to convince London Underground chiefs of the merits of keeping the station open for passengers.

Local councillor Peter Jeffree, has said that the Croxley Rail Link is going to greatly benefit the Watford area, however he did hope that residents and rail users would support the plan to keep Watford Met station open.

Further Reading on Transportation in London

Business Parking in London
London Rail Link
London Underground Workers
London Transport Olympic Games
Survival Guide to Working in London During the Olympics

London Transport MP Urges Flexi Time During 2012 Games

In order to limit the amount of commuters using the London transport network during the London 2012 Olympic Games, the Department for Transport has recommended that businesses allow employees flexible hours or remote working where possible.

Due to the  expected influx of tourists and visitors during the London 2012 Olympic Games London Underground and bus services are expected to be stretched to the limit, with overcrowding and delays.

Norman Baker MP, the minister for transport has said that although the transport system has been upgraded and an investment of 6.5 billion pounds has been made, this will not be enough to stop travel delays and issues.

Mr Baker recommended that businesses allow London based office employees work closer to home, use video conferencing facilities or work from home if possible to ease congestion on public transportation during the London 2012 Olympic Games.

London’s High Speed Rail Link

A second high speed rail link has been approved by the government, which will run from London to Birmingham. This news has been welcomed by industry leaders and is expected to create an estimated 20,000 new job opportunities, which will be a boost for the economy and promote further growth.

Old Oak Common is the proposed location of the interchange for the high speed rail link, along with new city quarter at Park Royal City, which is part of London’s regeneration project. It has been estimated that Old Oak Common would serve an additional 13,000 passengers per hour.

Further proposals include high speed links between Luton, Gatwick and Heathrow, which would further boost employment. It is also estimated that a further 10,000 much needed homes will be created.

Further Reading on Transportation in London

Watford Station
Survival Guide to Working in London During the Olympics
Business Parking in London
London Underground Workers
London Transport Olympic Games

London’s Tech Clusters

The city of London has become the home of a new breed of Tech Clusters, with a number of major organisations along with small digital business startups establishing themselves. London is the largest hub for tech start-ups in the world, after California’s Silicon Valley.

Facebook, with offices in Covent Garden and Carnaby Street, Google, with offices in Victoria,  Apple, Nokia and Groupon are just some of the big names expanding business operations in London. Telefónica, owner of O2, has recently set up new offices in Regent Street in the heart of Central London.

Although demand for central London office space dropped by twenty seven percent in 2011, it has been reported that telecom and Information Technology companies doubled.

In addition to Old Street’s Silicon Roundabout, situated in the Shoreditch area of East London, tech clusters have also been established in Fitzrovia, South Bank, Covent Garden and Clerkenwell. More than one million square feet of office space was acquired by tech companies across London during 2010 and 2012.

Information on Tech News, Technology Issues and Technology Seminars.