London descended into ‘complete carnage’: Tourists, protesters and football fans jammed the city’s struggling transport and shoppers brought packed streets to a ‘complete standstill’ after huge crowds traveled to the capital ahead of Christmas .
London was filled with tourists, shoppers and protesters this weekend, causing rail disruptions and public safety fears in what has been described as a ‘massacre’ before Christmas.
Pro-Palestinian demonstrations took place this weekend, with thousands of shoppers blocking the streets and hundreds of football fans and commuters stranded at stations traveling to and from London due to rail problems.
And with further travel and expected demonstrations in the capital for festive tourism, the city’s readiness to accommodate hundreds of thousands of visitors to Sadiq Khan’s ‘holiday headache’ has been questioned.
On Saturday, the chaos in the city center was heightened by the presence of thousands of pro-Palestinian supporters who marched through the streets of the capital once again demanding the government withdraw from the Israel and Hamas ceasefire.
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London was filled with tourists, shoppers, protesters and football fans this weekend
On Saturday, chaos in the city center was heightened by the presence of thousands of Palestine supporters
A convoy of travelers on their horses and carriages traveled through London through Oxford Street, Camden Town and Borough Market
There are fears that carnage on the streets of London is likely to increase as Christmas approaches
There was rail chaos at King’s Cross station due to issues with services leaving and arriving London
Thousands of passengers forced to endure long and freezing delays while waiting for updates
In claustrophobic scenes, a huge group of shoppers were halted impromptu above a swampy Victoria Line tube station
Many tube stations in the center of the capital were temporarily closed because they could not cope with the sudden influx of passengers attracted to the capital.
In claustrophobic scenes, a huge group of shoppers were herded to a halt above a swampy Victoria Line tube station in Oxford Circus, with no one able to get in or out.
The resulting blockage sparked fears of a crush and was described as ‘hell on earth’ by social media users.
At Christmas markets such as Hyde Park Winter Wonderland, visitors at peak times reported long queues to get in and out of the venues, as well as large lines for food and attractions.
The same day, a group of marchers rode a convoy of horses and carriages through central London, with video showing the group stopping traffic in Oxford Street, Buckingham Palace and Camden Town.
It is believed that in Borough Market, the group stopped at a pub and fed hay to their horses outside the establishment as part of a social media trend called ‘The Drive’.
On Sunday, football fans traveling to the city for the highly anticipated Tottenham Hotspur vs Newcastle match faced a transport crisis when the LNER was forced to cancel services from London to Edinburgh due to overhead line damage.
As a result, hundreds of fans were forced to stay overnight in expensive London hotels, with some swearing that ‘next time they will fly to London.’
Commuters using London’s transport network this weekend have described the situation as ‘carnage’
Yesterday on services from Manchester to London, passengers reported that the trains were so crowded that people were standing in the aisles the whole way and people with seat reservations were not given priority.
Meanwhile, thousands of passengers were stranded for hours at Grantham last night due to line damage, with passengers forced to wait hours in the cold for replacement buses and taxis, leading some to compare British Rail standards to ‘Cuba. According to ‘standards’.
Elsewhere, a fashionable Christmas market in east London has been forced to cancel its famous carol tradition for the rest of the year due to huge crowds.
More than 7,000 people attended the final event on Columbia Road Christmas Wednesday in Bethnal Green, with organizers saying they have called off the event for the rest of the year due to fears for public safety.
Footage uploaded to TikTok of last week’s event shows huge crowds enjoying a festive singalong, with a local pastor seen playing piano on the street to accompany the carolers.
Some who attended said they were ‘packed in like sardines’ and feared it was a ‘disaster waiting to happen’, while locals criticized the event, advertised on social media, for being ‘dangerously’ overcrowded. Held responsible.
Shoppers were packed like sardines into Leicester Square this weekend
Visitors posted videos of the crowd of people, saying it was a ‘disaster waiting to happen’
Visitors posted videos of crowds of people lining a street decorated with Christmas lights
And more tourists are still on the way with new passenger numbers at Heathrow last month down just 2% from pre-pandemic levels, according to new figures.
West London Airports said around 6.1 million passengers traveled through its terminals in November.
This compares with 6.2 million during the same month in 2019.
Demand for flights to North America peaked before Thanksgiving, with more than 50,000 passengers flying across the Atlantic from Heathrow on November 17, the last Friday before the holiday.
Travel to India also increased due to Diwali celebrations.
Heathrow chief executive Thomas Waldby said: ‘For so many people, holidays and cultural celebrations are about spending quality time with friends and family.
‘Last month passengers traveled to celebrate Thanksgiving and Diwali with loved ones, and we are making final preparations for the Christmas holidays.
‘We need to protect these benefits of aviation in a carbon-free world, as demonstrated by the history-making 100% clean transatlantic flight.
‘We now need collaboration between industry and government – who have critical delivery – to scale up SAF production to make 100% SAF flights an everyday reality.’
Heathrow expects around 6.5 million passengers to travel through the airport this month – many of whom will continue on to London.
Commenting on the travel chaos, Sadiq Khan’s Tory rival for the post of Mayor of London criticized his administration’s lack of clear controls.
He told MailOnline: ‘This weekend has been nothing short of a nightmare for Londoners in the run-up to Christmas, with the network brought to its knees due to the Mayor’s persistent TfL mistakes.
‘The chaos of Christmas is the last thing we need – our city should be buzzing with shoppers and holiday makers, and instead it’s queues, delays and disruption.
‘Sadiq Khan needs to get over this holiday headache and fix it as soon as possible; Londoners deserve much better.
MailOnline has contacted the Mayor of London and TfL for comment.
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