Olympic ticket holders only at Westfield shopping mall

Westfield Stratford City
Image caption Shoppers without Olympic tickets are being told to stay away on Friday and Saturday

The shopping centre at the Olympic Park will be closed to the general public on Friday and Saturday due to a high number of spectators expected.

Only staff and Olympic ticket holders will be able to go into Westfield shopping centre between 10:30 BST and 17:00 on both days.

Olympic organisers Locog said the two days would be the busiest of the Games.

Transport for London is urging those without tickets to enjoy other parts of the capital.

More than 200,000 Olympic ticket holders are due to watch athletics events at the stadium, making the Stratford area very busy.

A spokeswoman for Westfield said it was working with organisers to help with the smooth running of the Games.

She said: "Outside these hours, Westfield Stratford City's shops will be open to all visitors until 23:00 BST and restaurants and leisure until at 00:30.

"Extended trading hours will resume on Sunday, 5 August with all shops open until 23:00 and restaurants and leisure until 00:30."

To avoid queues into the Olympic Park at Stratford, TfL is urging passengers to use West Ham station on the Jubilee, District and Hammersmith & City lines and take the 15 minute direct walk from there to the Olympic Park.

Locog chief executive Paul Deighton said: "As we move into the second week of the Games the Olympic Park will be much busier as the Olympic Stadium hosts its first sporting events.

"Because of the huge number of people coming to the park on those days at certain times we have to restrict general public access to Westfield Stratford City and we are encouraging people to avoid travelling to Stratford unless they have a ticket."

London's transport commissioner Peter Hendy said: "Westfield Stratford City may not be open to shoppers without a ticket during these times but London has a rich and vast array of other attractions to offer during the Games, so I encourage everyone to enjoy the theatres, restaurants, shops, free concerts, Live Sites and attractions."

Meanwhile, Westminster Council has announced two weekends of free parking between the end of Olympics and the start of the Paralympics to encourage more shoppers and visitors to central London.

Free parking will apply on single yellow lines and in parking bays that usually incur charges on 18 and 19 and 25 and 26 August but not in residents bays or suspended areas.

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