Anyone looking for a Boxing Day bargain may be stuck in traffic, as rail strikes force people to take to the roads as the only means of transport on one of the busiest shopping days of the year.
On the 26th of December, there are usually hundreds of trains running, but this year Britain’s railways will be closed due to strike action by members of the Rail, Maritime and Transport union.
This strike will even affect airport services such as the Stansted Express, Gatwick Express, and Heathrow Express all of which are busy on Boxing Day, as people travel to or from the UK after Christmas Day – but they will now have to rely on the roads as well.
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To make matters worse, tens of thousands of football fans will be attempting to get to the first Premier League games since the season was halted for the World Cup.
The AA expects 15.2 million cars on UK roads on Boxing Day, and National Express and Megabus have both reported high demand for their services.
Even if you shop online, you may encounter difficulties – Royal Mail currently has no more planned strikes, but the union’s pay dispute remains unresolved, so more industrial action is likely.
READ MORE: UNION LEADER MICK LYNCH CALLS FOR AN URGENT MEETING WITH PRIME MINISTER IN A BID TO RESOLVE RAIL DISPUTE
These strikes will add to the retail sector’s current downturn as many people are not shopping because of high inflation, high mortgage and rental costs. These increases coupled with crippling energy prices, has left many households with little money to spare.
According to Barclaycard Payments research, the average shopper plans to spend £229 in the post-Christmas sales period, which is £18 less than the same time last year.
Personal technology is expected to be popular with 42 percent of respondents, with food and drinks also expected to be popular.
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Harshna Cayley, head of online payments at Barclaycard Payments, said: “The rising cost of living and inflationary pressures have naturally had an impact on the amount being spent in the post-Christmas sales this year.
“Having said that, retailers can take confidence knowing that shoppers still plan to make the most of the deals and discounts on offer.”
Source: Sky News
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