Christmas Cracker to set tills ringing
Merseytravel is lining up a ‘cracker’ of a promotion in the run up
to Christmas, with a festive flat fare on Merseyrail of just 50p to
anywhere in Merseyside. As well as setting tills ringing in
town centres across the region, the 50p ‘Christmas Cracker’
promotion is set to bring Christmas cheer to thousands people
expected to use the service again this year.
More than 143,000 people took advantage of last year’s Christmas
Cracker, which runs every Thursday evening in the 6-week run up to
Christmas (beginning on Thursday 17 November) and every Sunday
during December until Christmas. Merseytravel’s annual
Christmas gift to rail customers, now in its 11th year, gives a
seasonal boost to the region’s economy and helps reduce traffic
congestion in urban centres.
Councillor Mark Dowd, Chair of Merseytravel, said:-
“Merseytravel has an important role to play in regenerating our
economy and by offering cut price travel during the busy Christmas
period we can only help bring more visitors to our major centres.
Merseyrail is an invaluable part of our transport network and we
want to encourage more people to use rail travel for all of their
Returns from previous years have shown that 23% of shoppers using
the service to Liverpool alone had made the switch from car to
Tickets go on sale at Merseyrail stations from 4pm every Thursday
(between 17 November and 22 December), except at Liverpool city
centre stations where they will go on sale from 6pm, as well as all
day on Sundays in December until Christmas. The offer is valid
on Wirral, Northern and City Lines within the Merseyside boundary.
As an extra festive bonus, a £1 return flat fare extends to stations
outside Merseyside as far as Chester, Ellesmere Port and Ormskirk.
The offer means customers can travel from Southport to Chester and
back for £1.
Councillor Dowd added:- “By extending the deal even further,
we are giving people more shopping opportunities, in addition to
bringing in business from other areas.”
Patrick Verwer, Managing Director of Merseyrail, said:- “We
are keen to show the people of Merseyside and beyond that using the
train to get to the city centre is an excellent way to avoid traffic
jams and parking problems. The Christmas Cracker promotion will
hopefully encourage even more people to leave their cars behind and
use Merseyrail to get to the shops.”
To help people share in even cleaner, safer shopping centres, 31
Merseyrail stations currently offer free park and ride facilities.
says no evidence 'millions of shoppers' want
extra shopping hours on a Sunday
RETAIL union Usdaw says there is no evidence that millions of
shoppers want deregulation of Sunday trading hours despite claims by
a leading consumer group.
The union says there is no compelling research that the 'millions of
shoppers' claimed by the National Consumer Council to want extra
hours are actually demanding more time to shop on Sundays.
"Once again we
have an organisation claiming to speak for millions of shoppers but
providing no real evidence that consumers want more time to shop on
a Sunday. The reality is we already have one of the most deregulated Sunday
trading regimes in Europe and Britain's shoppers already have 150
hours a week to spend their money and we think that is quite enough.
The restriction of 6 hours on a Sunday is not 'red tape' as claimed
by the NCC but a protection for 2.7 million retail workers who want
to spend some quality time with their families on at least 1 day a
week. We have a duty to those hard working retail staff to
oppose deregulation and give them the chance that most Britons enjoy
to spend time with their families at the weekend as well as
achieving that all important work/life balance." says Usdaw general secretary John Hannett.
The NCC also questions
whether the 6 hour limit protects workers from being exploited but
provides no evidence that deregulation will boost protection for
"Our experience on
a day to day basis in stores is that the original compromise reached
in 1994 has given workers great protection on Sundays by limiting
the hours they work. The present arrangements gives every retail
worker the legal right to opt out of working on a Sunday and there
is a real danger that deregulating Sunday trading would only
increase the real pressure on retail workers to work on that day.
The reality is that the existing Sunday trading limits have worked
for everyone. The compromise allows consumers to shop on Sundays,
businesses to make money and retail staff to have one short day in
the week to spend with their families. The present restrictions have
worked and the NCC has failed to provide any compelling evidence
that the system we have at the moment needs to change."