Posted - 26/07/12 | 0 Comments

Olympics party comes to town!

Some things in life are free … like enjoying watching the Olympic torch pass by your workplace! Today, the Clear team joined thousands of others, cheering and waving as the procession continued in the capital (see photos above) – all leading up to tomorrow’s opening ceremony. Our best wishes go to the British team!

Millions of us will watch the Olympics on TV. But assuming you’re suddenly given a ticket for a big event, then how much will your total bill work out for a memorable trip to the capital?

Put simply, some costs have soared – while others have fallen, according to media reports.

If you need to park your car, then be careful. One operator has just increased its London daily parking rate from £36 to a jaw-dropping £60, says This is Money.

Then there are the hotels. These are charging premiums of up to 300% to families staying in London during the Olympics, according to research quoted by Sky News.

So are hefty invoices putting off the punters? It may seem that way. Interestingly, new figures show that 23% of hotel rooms in the capital are currently unreserved for the two-week Olympic period.

And the market is responding. The Telegraph reports that cost of hotel accommodation in London during the event has fallen by nearly a third since June! Apparently, average room rates are now currently £146 a night (though that’s significantly higher than the same period last year).

But hunt around and you might find a better deal. Rooms in central hotels can be obtained for as much as 30% below the usual rates, says The Guardian.

The newspaper makes another suggestion if watching the Olympics isn’t enough to keep you entertained. Apparently, it could be a bargain time to catch a West End show. Theatre seat bookings have slumped. And savings of up to 40% might be possible.

If you want a good meal afterwards, then the Olympic effect won’t leave you hungry, according to The Guardian. Many top restaurants still have tables available – though there’s no word on whether prices have gone up or down.

More modest fare can be found at Olympic venues. But the bill could add up – especially for family groups: “With prices as high as £1.60 for a small bottle of water and £5.90 for a tuna salad, taking a packed lunch seems an appealing alternative,” advises the BBC.

Lastly, if you want a souvenir, then there’s something out this week that’ll help keep that overall bill to a minimum. The Royal Mail is issuing a new set of stamps to mark the start of the Olympic Games, featuring four of the most popular events.

They’ll show a cyclist, a fencer, a diver and runners, alongside London landmarks Tate Modern, Tower Bridge, the Olympic Stadium and the London Eye, says AOL. And the price is just £1.28!

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Posted - 13/07/12 | 0 Comments

Apes’ cunning escape may result in hefty bill

A German zoo could be faced with a huge invoice – after five chimpanzees created makeshift ladder out of branches and leapt to freedom!

The invoice could relate to the fleet of police, ambulances and fire engines that raced to the scene, according to press reports.

Police and zookeepers armed with pepper spray patrolled the area while 2,500 visitors were evacuated.

Apparently, amid the chaos, a five-year old girl fell over and an elderly man (stuck in the tropical house) needed attention but no visitors were harmed by the powerful primates. What’s more, four of them even returned of their own accord!

The fifth (Maxi) returned after some coaxing and the provision of a ladder. A zoo spokeswoman is quoted as saying that Maxi then reported back … to see the head gorilla!

Media reports say an inquiry is now underway among the humans too … to determine what happened.

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Posted - 06/07/12 | 0 Comments

‘Lightbulb moment’ proves costly!

Heard the joke about changing a light-bulb? Normally it’s about how many people it takes. But one amazing story this week was all about the bill – a jaw-dropping £900!

Apparently that’s what one local authority may have to pay for getting a lantern working again at an historic building.

Admittedly, access to the top of the 100ft-plus Victoria Tower in Huddersfield has proved tricky since steps inside its turret were blocked off in 1959. Strapping ladders have been ruled out after health and safety bosses had concerns, according to news reports.

It’s said that scaffolders have quoted £900 to do the job. But the council is reportedly looking at more long-term solutions – like an LED that lasts at least 20 years. Now that’s a smart lightbulb moment for reducing the bills!

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