Business as usual for the city’s busy shopkeepers

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IT WAS business as usual around the city for those who were hitting the shops on the last weekend before Christmas.

Hampshire Constabulary had put out early warnings to shoppers to come early and find a different route into the city on derby day to avoid disruption to the traffic.

Roads around Fratton Park were blocked for short periods while police escorted the 42 coaches packed with Southampton supporters into the stadium.

But despite the brief closures on the busy Eastern Road, traffic in the area stayed quiet all day.

Peter Emery, the centre director of Gunwharf Quays, said: ‘We didn’t notice any disruption whatsoever – it’s all been very positive.

‘Traffic flow was absolutely as we would expect.

‘There were no public order issues or anything like that.

‘The police always do a good job with this sort of thing.

‘As we are on the other side of the island we don’t usually notice an affect anyway when there are football matches on.’

Police were also putting out regular traffic updates on social networking sites to keep people updated on the condition of the roads.

Caroline Collings, chairwoman of the south east Hampshire branch of the Federation of Small Businesses, said: ‘For smaller independent shops it hasn’t had much effect as it was done on a Sunday. There didn’t seem to be any problems.’