Vehicles entering car parks at the new Westfield shopping centre in east London will be subject to security checks, it has been confirmed.
The London Organising Committee of the Olympic Games and Paralympic Games (LOCOG) said the checks would remain in place for the first year of operation at the shopping centre, which opens on September 13.
Westfield Stratford City is near the Olympic Park and so vehicle screening areas (VSAs) will be in place until after the conclusion of the Olympic and Paralympic Games.
The screening zones will be operated by LOCOG and security provider G4S. They will be located at Warton Road, Penny Brookes Street and the Lea Interchange off the A12.
Selected vehicles will be guided out of the traffic flow and checked, before being allowed to continue onto car parks at the £1.45 billion shopping centre.
Local residents have been contacted and consulted with by London 2012 over the past 12 months in an effort to reduce the impact on their daily lives.
LOCOG CEO Paul Deighton said, “Delivering a safe and secure Games is a key priority for everyone involved in London 2012. With Westfield so close to the Olympic Park and with vehicle access to it directly accessed from the Park, it is an obvious and important part of our security plans.
“We will make the checks as quick and unobtrusive as possible – we are confident that shoppers will recognise the need for us to be vigilant and carry out these checks. We are also committed to working with the local community to ensure that vehicle screenings have a minimal impact on their daily lives.”
Westfield Stratford City will have 1.9 million sq ft of retail and leisure space, making it the largest urban shopping centre in Europe. Shoppers will be able to choose from about 300 stores, while more than 50 food outlets will help keep them fed while they shop.
Some four million people live within 45 minutes of the new shopping centre. It has 5,000 car parking spaces and uses state-of-the-art parking guidance technology. Shoppers will also benefit from the £150 million invested on public transport by Westfield, with regular bus routes and train connections making it easy to access.
Around 70 per cent of Olympic visitors are expected to pass through Westfield Stratford City, giving retailers plenty of opportunity to benefit from the event.