More people visiting York City centre


increase-footfall-retailFootfall cameras suggest popularity increasing

The latest footfall figures – taken from several camera locations in the City centre – reveal that more people are visiting the area than 12 months ago.

Figures for Coney Street reveal an average of 25,926 movements per day over the 12 months up to 13th December. That is the highest ever recorded, based on a 12 month rolling average

There is a similar picture in Church Street where an average of 3922 people are currently being recorded each day. This compared to 3861 recorded in the `12 months leading up to 24th August.

There has been a small reduction in footfall in Micklegate, where it is down from 7101 recorded in August to 6986 today.

Parliament Street has averaged 24511 movements per day so far in December.

Detailed figures are available on the Councils open data web site Click

City centre pedestrian numbers fairly stable


The latest “footfall” figures released by the Council suggest that fewer people have walked through the Parliament Street area over the last year.

A 12% reduction in footfall numbers may partly be influenced by the location (and relocation) of the market while a single week increase may indicate a special event being staged.

The camera records for Parliament Street stretch back to 2009. In some weeks the numbers may have been affected by visitors being “channeled” by stalls and other street furniture either beneath the cameras or out of their range.

However using a 12 month rolling weekly average numbers have declined in recent months.

Elsewhere in the City centre, footfall cameras suggest a more stable visitor pattern.

  • In Church Street the latest yearly rolling average shows 26,671 visitors per week. This is slightly down on the March figure of 27,766
  • Comparable figures for Micklegate show 49,605 now, an increase compared to the 49,161 counted in March
  • In Stonegate 133,569 people walked down the street each week in the 12 months leading up to August 2015. The 12 months leading up to March 2015 had seen an almost identical number of pedestrians (133,596)
  • In Coney Street a rolling average of 239,000 was recorded in 2010. This fell to 180,116 on the latest figures although camera locations have changed.

Overall the figures suggest that the City centre has felt the benefits of a recovering economy. However there are some concerning trends which may require action by the new “Make it York” economic development body.

The figures are likely to strengthen the case for establishing a Business Improvement District in the City centre

The figures can be downloaded from the Councils open access web site. A summary spreadsheet is available by clicking here 

True economic impact of Lendal bridge fiasco emerging

City centre footfall up 60% compared to last August


The York Council delayed responding to a Freedom of information request until just 5 minutes after a key Lendal Bridge decision was taken yesterday.

After the meeting had concluded it emerged that the effect of the closure on City Centre businesses last year had been more substantial than had previously been revealed.

The Lendal Bridge restrictions were in place from 27th August 2013 to 1st April 2014.

Camera enforcement on Coppergate started on 15th August 2013

During the earlier part of the restriction period footfall – measured by a camera in Parliament Street – showed a significant decline peaking at -12% during September.

The situation improved only during March when a 14% increase was recorded comparing 2014 with 2013.

However, since the camera enforcement was stopped on 1st April 2014, visitor numbers have soared.

    • April 2014 up 29% on previous year
    • May 2014 up 21%
    • June 2014 up 25%
    • July 2015 up 33%
  • Aug (to 25th) up 60%

These figures are far higher than might be accounted for solely by the economic recovery.

Fortunately they do seem to suggest that the City’s reputation has not been permanently damaged.

A failure by the Council to refund all fines which were imposed unlawfully could change that picture.

The failure to provide information in a timely way – and prevent some Councillors from seeing key legal advice on the Lendal Bridge issue – may lead to the York Council Leadership being reported to the Local Government Ombudsman

Latest footfall figures released


606,202 movements were recorded by the Parliament Street footfall cameras during March 2014.

This represented an increase on the 531,421 recorded 12 months earlier although it was still down on the 2012 total of 666,249.

The full figures can be downloaded by clicking here

The numbersare influenced by weather conditions and the general economic situation, so most retailers will be focusing on the August to December period when shopper numbers are usually at their highest.

NB. One retailer recently said that sales figures were still 10% down using a year on year comparison.

Latest City centre shopper numbers – Lendal Bridge trial could go on and on and on


The Council has issued the latest City centre footfall figures.

The figures show more people visited Parliament Street during December and January this winter than in the equivalent period 12 months ago.


However compared to 2012, numbers are down by 9%.

The decline in shopper numbers is likely to have been influenced by the Councils decision to impose substantial car parking charge increases.

It appears that the “free” car parking day on Saturday did not produce the hoped for increases in footfall.

The numbers monitored on Saturday (1st Feb 2014) was 31,974 compared to the busiest Saturdays in the two previous years when 37,137 (2nd Feb 13) and 40,951 (28th Jan 12) people respectively were recorded on Parliament Street.

The full figures can be found here.

Meanwhile the Council leaflet, issued to residents, which talked about “Reinvigorating York” has been branded as misleading.

Shopper numbers down 10% in City Centre.

285,000 fewer people have visited the Parliament Street area since new traffic restrictions introduced in August.

Shambles empty
The number of visitors to the City has dropped dramatically since the new restrictions were introduced on Coppergate and on Lendal Bridge.

The latest figures have been released by the York Council following a Freedom of Information request

In total, footfall cameras on Parliament Street recorded 2.695 million people between 1st August and the start of the St Nicholas Fayre on 28th November.

The equivalent figure for 2012 was 2.980 million, a fall of 10%.

Figures recovered over the 4 days of the St Nicholas Fayre although the concentration of footfall may have been influenced by the positioning of the market.

The figures are even more disappointing given the relatively good weather that we have experienced so far this autumn.

They confirm that the new restrictions are having a major adverse effect on the economic viability of many retailers in the City centre.

The Council has previously resisted calls for the restrictions to be suspended at least until the busy pre Christmas period is over.

  • The detailed figures are:
  • August 746,340 visitors (780,646 in 2012 – 4%)
  • September 699,042 (798,182 – 12%)
  • October 717,634 (775,144 – 7%)
  • November 532,157 (646,226 -18%) to start of St Nicholas Fayre on 28th November

By contrast, in the first 7 months of the year, visitor numbers had fallen by a total of 5% with the decrease being blamed on a large increase in car parking charges.

A spreadsheet showing individual figures for each day can be found by clicking here.

A Council survey on residents and visitors reactions to the traffic restrictions can be found here


Alexander resigns from City centre role.

York City centre "to let"

York City centre “to let”

The Councils Leader is standing down from the chair of the City Team York group which was established in response to the national effort to improve the fortunes of the high street.

The move follows months of protests from City centre traders who have seen shopper numbers fall in the wake of the new traffic restrictions and huge increases in car parking charges introduced by the Labour led Council.

Launched in August last year, the group is made up of retailers, the city council and a range of professional and businesses organisations from across the city centre with a remit to improve business growth, resilience and economic vitality.

It replaced a City centre traders group which had worked closely with the Council for many years with the introduction of a cheap “shoppers car park” on Fossbank one of its achievements.

An advert of a new private sector chair has been published.

Closing date for applications is 31st December 2013 and full details for any business person who would be interested in applying for this voluntary post may be found here:

4% drop in shopper numbers in City centre during August

Figures released today, under Freedom of Information rules, reveal that 4% fewer shoppers visited the York City centre in August compared to the same month last year.

"Footfall" numbers in Parliament Street. click to enlarge

“Footfall” numbers in Parliament Street. click to enlarge

The blame for the reduction is being attributed to the bungled introduction of new traffic regulations on Lendal Bridge and in Coppergate.

The news comes at a time when visitor attractions were reporting an increase in the numbers using their facilities earlier in the year

In the period up to August a 16% increase was recorded.

This was partly put down to special events like the Mallard 75 celebration as well as the opening of the new York Minster revealed axhibition.

The expectations had been that a recovering national economy – coupled with good weather – would lead to a bumper August; but those hopes seem to have been dashed.

Cameras, that measure the numbers of people on Parliament Street, recorded a drop in “footfall” from a monthly total of 780,646 in 2012 to 746,349 this year

Figures for September and early October are due to are published next week.

Many are forecasting a further decline.

Over 5000 visitors will have received penalty charge notices in September and word of mouth is likely to have resulted in further reputational damage for the City.

More may choose to shun the central area.

There are, however, some hopes that special events like the Food Festival might partly counter the decline.

Earlier in the week the Council was reported as having ordered additional footfall cameras.

Bizarre twist in footfall pantomime


With the Council resolutely refusing to reveal the reduction in the number of shoppers using the City centre since the Lendal Bridge restrictions were introduced, they have today announced investment in yet more “footfall” cameras.

Many will wonder whether spending money on more cameras can be justified when the authority apparently don’t want to believe the results of its existing two cameras (which are located in Parliament Street and Coney Street).

A beleaguered Council Leadership has agreed though that the decline in the numbers accessing the City centre over recent years is higher than in similar City’s elsewhere.

The Labour Leadership was quick to celebrate increased footfall in the run up to Christmas 2011 but since then a huge increase in car parking charges, and steps to further reduce on street parking, have taken their toll.

Now, the way that the Lendal Bridge restrictions have been introduced is already having a major impact on the City’s reputation with visitors and potential shoppers.

The Council seem to be following a strategy based on a new saying, “If you don’t like the facts, spend more money looking for alternative facts”

The Council has not revealed how much it intends to spend on the additional cameras.

Visitors Coppergate “double fine whammy”

A visitor from Denmark faced a £66 charge after falling foul of the Coppergate ANPR cameras.

He quickly paid the fine to gain the £30 discount but later received a supplementary bill from the hire car firm that he had used. They wanted another £30 plus £6 VAT to cover the costs of processing an enquiry about who was driving their vehicle.

The tourist explains that on a dark and wet evening in September he and his family decided to use their hire car to get from their guest house to a City centre restaurant.

Fine notice

Fine notice

They were caught on camera at 18:50pm – just 10 minutes before the restriction ends.

They did not see the signs (the new hours of operation of the restriction are in a small font) and – with some justification – feel that the invisible policeman (ANPR cameras) method of enforcement is unfair.

He suggests a rising barrier be used.

Others have argued for an amnesty for “first offenders”

Visitors see the use of ANPR cameras as a money making trap which will damage the City’s reputation.

In a separate development, The Council Leader last night accepted that the numbers of people accessing the City centre is in decline.

He was asked to publish footfall figures for the last couple of months and compare them with 12 months ago.

He hasn’t done so yet but he claimed to have put on line graphs which show City centre visitors numbers falling over an extended period of time.

Heavy handed enforcement of traffic restrictions – like the above – can only accelerate that decline.

NB. Questions on the amount that the Council has collected in fine revenue from ANPR cameras in Coppergate and Lendal Bridge were not answered at last night’s Council meeting.

The responsible Labour Councillor is being given a week to respond in writing before a Freedom of Information request is submitted.