Belfast Telegraph

Drivers plan cross-border shopping

One in five motorists say they plan to cross the border to do some Christmas shopping.

A poll by the AA showed drivers were undeterred by the budget hike in fuel prices, the weakened euro and possible queues as they prepared to travel to Northern Ireland over the next two weeks.

A further 6% said they would do some or all of their Christmas shopping elsewhere in the UK.

The AA said the results contradicted claims by Retail Ireland that cross-border shopping was abating during the year.

"As always cross-border shopping proved a contentious issue among respondents with some labelling the practice as unpatriotic," it said.

"Inversely a number of people argued that southern prices are driving them across the border as they strive to make their 2010 Christmas euro go further.

"Others admitted to keeping an eye on the fluctuating exchange rate before making up their minds."

Of 7,105 drivers who took part in the poll, 19.3% said they would visit Northern Ireland to shop for Christmas, with 6% planning a trip elsewhere in the UK, 4.4% to continental Europe, and just 2% going to the United States.

But more than six out of 10 told the AA they intended to stay at home.

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From Belfast Telegraph