CHARLES GRAHAM - ‘Jingle tills’ rush

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IT’S never fun being stuck in the middle of a traffic jam.

But there was more cause to feel upbeat about the latest one to hit Wigan on Monday than most.

For it signalled a belated “jingle tills” rush by shoppers who managed to fill all 3,500 parking spaces and leave hundreds more facing a long walk or a long wait in a queue.

Whether this raises questions about the adequacy of parking facilities now that one multi-storey has been relinquished to the hospital trust, is a moot point. After all, this surfeit of visitors doesn’t (perhaps regrettably) arise too often.

But it is good to see folk getting out there and keeping local retailers ticking over.

Bearing in mind what I said a couple of weeks ago, I should add in the same breath that I hope folk haven’t been maxing out credit cards and running up huge debts in other ways to achieve this 11th-hour spending boom.

People getting heavily into the red just because it is the done thing to have a huge blow-out at Christmas whether you can afford it or not, does no-one any good in the long term.

But if shoppers are simply responding to Mary Portas’s appeal to patronise town centres rather than the internet, retail parks and supermarkets, then all well and good.