MEAN STREETS AT CHRISTMAS – LET THE JAMMING BEGIN

I had everything planned, I would drop the kids off at school and head over to Fulham along the King’s Road, meet up with my close friend Suzie, exchange Christmas presents and then take another route back, stopping off in Knightsbridge for those special last minute gifts to be ahead of the game when entertaining over the festive season.

I figured it would take no longer than an hour to reach my first destination, and after a light lunch, would easily reach Harrods by 2.30pm on my way back.

But how short-sighted of me not to check the internet for the recent road blockages at the busiest time of the year and in the middle of our buzzing Capital.

I reached the King’s Road without much of a delay, just the usual build-up of traffic through the City over London Bridge, but that was to be expected and I hadn’t yet started to panic.

But as I approached Sloane Square it looked as if there had been a major incident, and it was the day after the announcement of Harry and Meghan so I thought it could be something to do with that! But to my amazement major road works ensued and the traffic was at a standstill.

I had envisaged a bit of a traffic jam but did not expect to be stuck in traffic for the length of time I experienced – so that one and a half hours later I arrived in Fulham frustrated and apologetic for something that was completely out of my control.

To add insult to injury after a large glass of wine placed in my hand from my sympathetic friend to calm me down, we checked the traffic updates and spotted more blockages on my homeward route via Harrods, which I then abandoned.

I have been scanning the websites of traffic control and local counsels to see if there is a reason for road works which can only hinder Christmas Shoppers and there is no explanation. I can understand them being planned at night after the main shoppers have gone home, but not at the peak of the day when drivers are coming into London from all over the country.

Many people prefer not to travel by tube these days and take their cars instead, especially when carrying heavy packages from stores to home. Not everyone wants to order from the internet, some still like to see what they are buying. Touchy feely people like me.

When reports come in after Christmas that consumer sales are down – perhaps they could consult their road planning teams and have a better strategy for next year.

But as I rest my case, just wanted to urge all of you lovely Christmas shoppers out there to check the road works before you embark on your next expedition, so that you enjoy the experience without too much jamming!! After all it comes just once a year!

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