Oxford Circus crossing, London
© Matt Cheetham/Getty Image
X marks the spot. Shop 'til you drop on Boxing Day
It's said Boxing Day takes its name from the historic practice of employers giving their servants and tradespeople boxes of gifts on the day after Christmas (since the servants had to work on Christmas Day). But in modern times, it's all about the shopping. Today, in London's West End, the streets will be rammed with shoppers hunting for a bargain or two in the Boxing Day sales. The diagonal pedestrian crossing at Oxford Circus, inspired by a similar crossing in Tokyo, opened in 2009. More than 90 million people used the X-shaped crossing in its first year, and it's reported to have helped boost business in the popular shopping hub. The £5m junction was designed to handle twice the number of pedestrians and ease overcrowding at the busy intersection – which is good news for the brave Boxing Day shoppers out there today.