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.

York visitor numbers show small increase


Continuing mild weather, and a recovering economy, boosted visitor numbers in York City centre by 3% during February compared to the same month in 2013.

Although the increase is less than is being experience in similar High Streets elsewhere in the country, no doubt tourism chiefs will point to the success of special events such as the Viking Festival as part of the explanation for the reversal in fortunes.

The modest increase is unlikely to be enough to deflect criticism from the unpopular Lendal bridge closure which continues to dog the reputation of York City centre.

Huge increases in car parking charges – which are scheduled to be introduced later in the spring when York residents will lose their “Minster badge” discounts – are another cause for apprehension.

The first Saturday in March saw 38,882 visitors recorded on the Parliament Street footfall cameras.

This compared to 50,054 on the equivalent Saturday last year.

The full footfall figures can be seen by clicking here.

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


12% drop in shopper numbers in September

There were 12% fewer shoppers in central York in September according to new figures obtained by the Liberal Democrats.

click to download full data

click to download full data

The results come from the one remaining “footfall” camera which is located in Parliament Street.

It confirms the downward trend from August when 4% fewer people accessed the City centre in the wake of the introduction of new traffic restrictions on Lendal Bridge and Coppergate.

So far in October numbers ate down by 7% compared to the same period last year.

It has also emerged that the footfall camera located in Coney Street was a victim of the cuts earlier in the year.

The figures will cause serious concern to the retail community in the City.

Although seemingly more resilient than some other shopping areas –as evidenced by the relatively low number of empty premises – few businesses could sustain a reduction in the number of customers that has been seen over the last couple of months.

As revealed on this web site earlier in the week, over 8000 penalty notices were sent to separate addresses during September. Of these 5481 (67%) were to sent to addresses outside the YO postcode area, raising fears that the reputation of the City is being irreparably damaged.

Click here to download the full data.

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.

£3 million to be raised from Lendal Bridge and Coppergate fine income this year?

Lendal bridge notice

Questions tabled for the Council meeting on 10th October will finally reveal the scale of fine income that the Council is now getting from drivers who use Lendal Bridge and Coppergate during restricted hours.

Unconfirmed figures, leaked by the Council, suggest that over 1000 drivers a WEEK are still using Lendal Bridge during restricted hours.

If everyone who received a penalty notice paid £60 then it would add a whopping £3 million to Council coffers plus income from Coppergate.

A private briefing to journalists accepts the 1000 figure but says that many drivers will successfully appeal while others will quickly stomp up the £30 discounted rate.

Questions on Lendal Bridge and Coppergate tabled for Council meeting on 10th October click to enlarge

Questions on Lendal Bridge and Coppergate tabled for Council meeting on 10th October click to enlarge

Officials admit that bus reliability has not changed much since the Lendal Bridge closure while traffic congestion is much as expected.

The briefing comes from the same team that has yet to answer questions tabled during a “twitter debate” in August. They promised then to answer all submitted questions and add them to the Councils web site.

They have singularly failed to do so.

So embarrassed are Council Leaders, with the scale of the contraventions, that they are floating the idea of an amnesty for first offenders.

A kind of yellow card system.

But there will be nowhere to hide on 10th October.

Not only will the scale of the PR disaster become apparent but the impact on City centre trade will be revealed.

A question to the Council Leader, from Liberal Democrat Group Leader Keith Aspden, asks for daily numbers from the Councils City centre footfall cameras since the beginning of August.

The improving economic situation suggests that there should be a major increase compared to last year.

We will see

A list of all the questions submitted for the meeting can be seen here.