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Car parks packed as last-minute Christmas shoppers hit the city

PUBLISHED: 14:27 23 December 2019 | UPDATED: 06:49 24 December 2019

Thousands doing their last-minute Christmas shopping in Norwich on Monday, December 23. Picture: Brittany Woodman.

Thousands doing their last-minute Christmas shopping in Norwich on Monday, December 23. Picture: Brittany Woodman.

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Norwich city centre is packed with festive shoppers as thousands rushed to get those last minute gifts.

Cars queue back along Chapelfield Road while waiting for a space in the shopping centre. Picture: Daniel Moxon.Cars queue back along Chapelfield Road while waiting for a space in the shopping centre. Picture: Daniel Moxon.

From as early as 9am on Monday the car park at intu Chapelfield shopping centre was full, with drivers queuing along the A147 Chapelfield Road back to the roundabout while waiting for spaces.

As the day went on, other city centre car parks were heaving with spaces at Castle Quarter, St Andrews and The Forum also hard to come by.

The park and ride facilities remained largely available, though, with hundreds of spaces available in Costessey, Harford, Postwick and Sprowston.

Meanwhile, some who were travelling by bus were left confused as information boards failed to show some Konectbus and BorderBus services, even though operators said they were still running.

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With just two days left, many were finishing off shopping for presents or food for Christmas dinner, while some were still yet to begin.

Anthony Little, from Trowse, travelled by car and arrived in the city at around 8.30am, but he said he still had "loads to do" more than three hours later.

He said: "I can never be bothered to do it and then it gets to a few days before and I have to. It's the best way to do it - gets it all out of the way in one go."

From as early as 9am, car parks at intu Chapelfield and The Forum were already full. Picture: Daniel Moxon.From as early as 9am, car parks at intu Chapelfield and The Forum were already full. Picture: Daniel Moxon.

Rebecca Kelly, from Thorpe, also said that she had left everything to the last minute, saying: "It's a pain. I say every year I'll do it early but every year it gets to the week before Christmas and I still haven't sorted it."

Not everyone was in town for Christmas shopping, though, with some already finished for the year.

Sarah Ricketts, from Spixworth, said that she buys all her gifts online and finished "weeks ago".

She said: "I'm only here to meet a friend for a coffee. I couldn't leave it all this late - the stress would just drive me mad."

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