Shoppers are believed to have spent more than £20m at Westfield Stratford City since its opening, while the Docklands Light Railway (DLR) has carried a record numbers of passengers.
In excess of 200,000 shoppers toured the new stores on its opening day on Tuesday last week, followed by a further 150,000 people on each of Wednesday, Thursday and Friday. The rush continued into the weekend, with 200,000 shoppers visiting on both Saturday and Sunday, forcing security guards to ask people to queue to get into the Europe’s largest urban shopping centre.
The rush to check out the new stores at the £1.45bn shopping centre has vindicated the £211m spent on the DLR extension.
Some 130,000 shoppers bound for Westfield used the service’s new Stratford International extension between September 12 and 18. The four new stations on the extension are called Star Lane, Abbey Road, Stratford High Street and Stratford International.
A total of 340,000 passengers used the DLR network on September 15, smashing the previous record of 303,000 users in one day. The DLR was used by approximately 1.9 million passengers across the entire week.
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Mayor of London Boris Johnson said: “Stratford International station and the new DLR extension are playing a crucial role in the regeneration of east London and are already showing they are match fit to transport the millions of visitors that we will be welcoming to the Olympic and Paralympic Games next year.”
The hoards of shoppers flocking to Westfield Stratford City has also put extra strain on buses and Stratford regional station. Buses in the area are now taking on an additional 6,500 passengers on their routes. Meanwhile, over 100,000 passengers used Stratford regional station on the first Saturday since the shopping centre opened, some 60,000 more people than measured on the same day the previous week.
DLR director Jonathan Fox said: “The completion of the DLR extension to Stratford International with the provision of four more accessible stations means customers are already getting the benefits of huge investment in the network a year ahead of the London 2012 Games.
“The extension completes £500m of DLR upgrade works, creating a 50 per cent increase in capacity across the network which is now ready to serve the capital for the Games and beyond.”
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