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.