Scottish Daily Mail
5million extra shoppers as winter trips are axed
AN extra five million people will be i n the UK over Christmas and New Year, sparking fears of shopping and travel chaos.
Around 10 per cent of the adult population would normally go abroad for the festive period.
But travel restrictions and the closure of winter ski resorts have forced millions to cancel their holidays.
M&S and John Lewis are among the retailers urging families to book shopping slots in advance to avoid lengthy queues outside.
And Sainsbury’s has extended its Christmas opening hours amid fears of an unprecedented rush.
It came as the AA called on councils to scrap parking charges over the period to stop shoppers crowding around ticket machines. The motoring group said the move would also help revive beleaguered high streets.
The prospect of millions of extra people in the UK has also ignited fears of travel chaos over the ‘five days of Christmas’ when the restrictions will be relaxed.
Transport bosses f ear reduced capacity on rail services could force millions into their cars, bringing the nation’s roads to a standstill.
And even trains that do run could be forced to cancel at the last minute as rail operators have warned ministers they may struggle with staff shortages.
Passengers are already complaining about a lack of availability of advance tickets over Christmas.