Since the start of the Olympics on July 27th businesses have allowed staff to work from home and the Government has warned people not to travel unnecessarily to London unless absolutely needed, this has worked too well as people have heeded advice and not bothered at all. Roads are empty and London hasn’t ever looked so deserted but as a result of this businesses are suffering.
Taxi drivers, rickshaw drivers, mimes, restaurant owners and hoteliers are just some who have noticed a huge reduction in customers. Central London is usually heaving with people but Soho, Regents Street, Oxford Street and Westminster are practically empty, no cars or people. Underground stations are also desserted.
The Olympics were supposed to attract 300,000 tourists to the capital but barely 100,000 have come, the money that the country has put into the Olympics is a huge loss as the money was supposed to be recovered through tourism it now seems highly unlikely. As you may well know the stadium was sold last year for nearly £500m but it cost over £1bn to build so already £500m has been lost.
You must have also heard about the Games Traffic Lane that has caused worldwide controversy, before the games there was so much confusion in which of the many lanes were in operation that it caused huge traffic delays and congestion. Now that they are in operation people have decided to avoid these roads leaving them completely empty and traffic free. Westfield shopping centre in Stratford is also usually very busy but that too has been abandoned. People are choosing to holiday in Wales, Scotland or Cornwall to get away from all the hype of the shambolic Olympics.
Just weeks ago high street retailers were slashing the prices of stock because of the washout summer people had turned to the internet to avoid venturing outdoors. Although it didn’t really entice customers they just used the internet to their advantage and shopped from home. Some small shop owners are really suffering as they are not getting as much clients as they used to, a rickshaw driver usually rakes in £150 a day but is barely scraping together £40 for a days work. Restaurants are empty and market stall owners are hardly making any money to cover a days wages.
So don’t believe all you read in the papers there is no Olympics traffic or congestion just empty streets and ghost towns, enjoy while it lasts and spend a nice day out without the hoards of people that are usually present.