Regent Street traffic ban set to boost Christmas shopping
High-end retailers along London’s Regent Street have been given a trading boost with news the prime West End shopping destination is to be closed to traffic for the three Saturdays ahead of Christmas.
In a further bid to lure shoppers to the area, cars, taxis and buses will be banned between Oxford Circus at one end and Piccadilly Circus at the other from 10am to 9pm on December 5, 12 and 19.
The additional advantage for the famous street comes after the government has relaxed strict trading times for December and January that will allow stores to open much later into the night.
Jace Tyrrell, chief executive at business group New West End Company, told The Evening Standard: “The West End will be open to all shoppers who want to enjoy a festive experience like no other while shopping for their last few Christmas gifts.
“We have 50% fewer people than last year who can get to the West End as tourists are not visiting this season, and we hope that Londoners will take advantage of the spacious and secure environment to enjoy the unique festive offerings of the West End.”
Rachael Robathan, the leader of Westminster council which governs the West End, added: “Lots of things have been cancelled this year but Christmas is most definitely on — so let’s rally behind our retailers.”
Like many areas country-wide, the West End has been largely empty across this year's two lockdowns. Apart from brief recovery towards the end of the summer, physical retailers are pinning their hopes on the predicted store shopping frenzy in the run-up to Christmas.
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