Are You Experiencing West-stress?

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The Standard’s Nick Curtis has discovered a new ailment for West Londoners – West-Stress.

Apparently this is “a combination of anxiety that one really should go to London’s new shopping-mall-cum-citystate Westfield, the stress involved in getting there and the sheer panic of finally being in the damned place.”

Not sure if the condition will be recognised by the medical world but in the world of the average shopper Westfield has brought about mixed reactions with everything ranging from ‘wonderful’ to ‘a vision of Dantesque horror’.

Of course reports of nose to tail traffic around Shepherd’s Bush are not new so blame cannot be laid entirely at Westfield’s feet. However, consumers’ cars clogging up W12’s residential streets have forced Hammersmith and Fulham Council to use emergency powers to change parking rules.

And it seems that cyclists are not that much better off even though they have been allocated 500 bicycle parking spaces “This is paltry compared with the actual land area dedicated to the 4500 spaces for cars" claims a cyclists’ campaign group. Apparently Westfield deems the surrounding roads to be unsuitable for cyclists because the roads around Shepherds Bush Green aren't shown as cycle routes on cycle maps.

Even those who use public transport “came away with a headache and a raging thirst and nothing else, having spent nary a penny, except via an Oyster card on bus fares.”

Luckily for Westfield not all of the shoppers that surge towards Shepherd’s Bush on a daily basis agree. “I think it's wonderful and can only improve Shepherd's Bush area. When I went to Waitrose yesterday on the way back from work there was quite a buzz about the place and that can only get better when the cinema opens next year.”

“Lots of very comfortable chairs, just for ordinary seating, not just at the cafes. The beautiful 'green wall' at the side of the development. The fact that the staff wherever you go seem to have been on intensive courses in being nice to the customers. Great loos.”


12 November 2008