London 2012: John Lewis charges customers to view Olympic park out of its window


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The Independent Online

A shop overlooking the Olympic park is charging customers to look at the site from its viewing window.

The John Lewis store in Westfield, which neighbours the site in Stratford, east London, introduced the £2 charges on Sunday. Customers are promised "panoramic views of the London 2012 park" from the viewing gallery on the third floor.

Binoculars are on offer and visitors are treated to views of the Olympic Stadium, the Orbit tower and other venues but some customers have taken exception to the charges.

Paul Atack, 65, from Doncaster, South Yorkshire, said: "I've come all the way down to London to see the Olympic Park.

"I'm surprised that I can't even get near it. The park volunteers told me to go to John Lewis but I didn't expect to be paying for it."

A spokesperson for John Lewis confirmed the fee had been introduced but added that any proceeds would be donated to local charities.

She said: "We have introduced a small charge to enter the viewing gallery at our Stratford shop - £2 for adults, under 16 years go free - as operationally we felt the need to separate those customers who wish to visit the London 2012 shop, and those who wish to experience the view. This is something we've introduced from a need to manage the crowds."

"The net profit from our London 2012 shop in Stratford goes back to London 2012, and any proceeds taken from customers paying to visit the viewing gallery will be donated to local charities."

The charities set to benefit from the fee include housing provider East Thames Potential and homeless charity Cardboard Citizens.