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Sunday, 21 August 2011

Westfield Stratford City

Only some three weeks away is the opening of Westfield's development at Stratford.

This week I had a really good look 'behind the scenes' at this huge project. With 1.9m sq ft of retail space it will be Europe's largest urban shopping centre. All the major retailers are there flanked by John Lewis at one end and Marks and Spencer at the other. There is a 17-screen Vue cinema too. There is also high quality office space and 1.3m sq ft of hotel space as well - both Premier Inn and Holiday Inn are currently at an advanced stage of construction. When the Games are over the Athletes' Village will form a catchment area of homes for the facility as well.

Westfield Stratford City forms part of an important gateway to the Olympic Park and a significant proportion of Games visitors will enter or leave through this site. As a consequence some of our traffic infrastructure is designed to be easily removeable - you won't see it at all during the Opening Ceremony.

It has its own entrance to Stratford Station and a new bus station to serve it. Bus routes will start to operate there on 10th September ahead of the main opening, generally out of service, and by some quirk of tendering when the operation goes live on 13th First will serve it with route D8 for four days before Go Ahead takes the route over the following Saturday.

The new facility is outstanding - three floors of retail space and there is round the clock working to finish the fitting out, deliver the stock and train the staff. All this is taking place under appropriate security. From my layman's viewpoint there seems a lot to be done but as ever sites like these suddenly are transformed overnight. My old handyman at Capital Citybus, when confronted with what looked like a bomb site and an impossible deadline would typically say "just a bit of clearing up".

Shown above is the new Stratford City Bus Station - awaiting its first bus service and below the new Underground station ticket hall all ready to receive its first passengers.



  1. again, it's sad that tfl has made no provision for people to attend the games by cycle. this was a huge missed opportunity. even new york and paris, traditionally very friendly cities for private cars, have seen the benefits to environment and congestion of installing hundreds of miles of high quality protected cycle lanes (as you see in the pictures, nothing like the ineffective blue paint of the 'superhighways'.)

    meanwhile, unbelievably, in london, space for cycling is being removed on blackfriars bridge, and the junction is being made more dangerous for cyclists...

  2. note this, at blackfriars:

    this is a route used by several thousand cyclists every day. you are asking all of them to get off and walk. why is there no re-routing of the cycle lane, as there would be with a motor traffic lane?

  3. also, in jermyn street - the casual destruction of a safer cycle route than the busy piccadilly. why are tfl doing this? it makes no sense.

    (just as the failure to incorporate any safe cycle infrastructure in the new pall mall/piccadilly two-way working ends up making a new street system that is equally hostile to cyclists. everyone pays for this - in congestion, in pollution, in taxes - as people are forced in to their cars, or on to subsidised public transport...)

  4. this is also worth a look -

    it'll give you a sense of how dangerous it is to cycle in london with current street design (including narrow cycle lanes, and pretend cycle lanes in blue paint..). protected space would have helped avoid many of these near-accidents.

  5. Another example of TfLs commitment to cycling in Stratford: