The calamitous decline in the number of shoppers in the City centre first became apparent in 2012.
In that year, the new Labour administration increased car parking charges by 20p for residents.
In 2013 they went up again meaning that residents faced a 36% hike in just 2 years.
We forecast that this could have major implications for City centre traders.
The additional traffic restrictions have simply accelerated the downward spiral with “to let” notice springing up all around the City centre as shops pull out.
In the period up to 2011 the, then LibDem led, Council had frozen parking charges.
It had even reduced them at an innovatory “shoppers car park” at Foss Bank.
Footfall figures reveal that for the first 3 years of the recession (2008 – 2011) the numbers accessing the City centre were remarkably stable.
2012 saw a 6% reduction while this increased to 12% comparing September 2013 with the same month in 2012.
New traffic restrictions were blamed for the accelerating trend.
Meanwhile the numbers of bus passengers has also fallen away although the Council has so far refused to reveal the 2012 passenger numbers.
As we said yesterday, the Council seems to be frozen into inactivity with no real idea what to do to get itself out of the self created crisis.
Nero showed a greater sense of urgency.