A lot is riding on the future of the City centre economy this week as most shops are now reopening. Shopper numbers yesterday were modest – broadly comparable to the numbers that you might have seen on the streets on a Monday in February.
This may step up as the week progresses and residents realise the choice that is available and that car parking space is easy to find (the Council have not discounted parking charges yet).
The reopening of pubs, cafes, libraries and hairdressers – and a loosening of public transport restrictions – would also bring a boost to visitor numbers although such changes are still some time away. It may be even longer before some major visitor and cultural attractions open their doors.
It will also be a few days before “footfall” figures are available (assuming that the cameras have been switched back on).
Generally, “social distancing” was being observed well by those visitors who did venture out. The City centre is clean and uncluttered. Buskers are out and about again but it will require the authorities to commission background entertainment if a “buzz” is to return to the pedestrian areas.