By Daniel Hunter

Today's (Friday) disruption to bus services in London will inconvenience customers at a time when an upturn in consumer spending is much-needed and harm London's wider reputation, said the British Retail Consortium (BRC).

London retailing provides jobs for 380,000 people. More than a fifth of all the UK's retail spending takes place in London, generating a turnover of £65 billion last year.

Director General of the British Retail Consortium, Stephen Robertson, said: "This disruption is bad news for a vital part of London's economy. Overwhelmingly, central London's shoppers arrive by public transport. Miserable weather is already compounding weak consumer spending for many retailers. The last thing they need is travel disruption making things worse.

"And as we get ready to be the focus of global attention, this can only harm London's reputation as a place to do business.

"Hundreds of thousands of London shopworkers are preparing to serve large numbers of Olympic visitors and contribute to achieving the economic boost the games can deliver.

"With 380,000 jobs directly depend on a successful retailing sector in the capital, there has to be a better way for these and other transport workers to resolve their disputes."

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