The Council has published the latest figures from its footfall cameras. The figures cover the period up to 25th December 2016 and provide a guide to the number of people walking around the City Centre.
At first glance, the figures suggest that impressions about visitor numbers may have been optimistic. There has been a dramatic drop in the numbers on Coney Street, no doubt influenced by the high profile shop closures which took place in 2016.
Other streets are also showing a drop compared to 2015 when the Boxing Day floods took a toll on some parts of the City centre.
Even Parliament Street – which should have benefited from the ambitious St Nicholas Fair – doesn’t seem to have enjoyed the expected boost.
Of course, footfall figures are only part of the story. Trader turnover is a vital barometer while hotels look at room occupancy figures. The latter were buoyant earlier in the year.
Large and small visitor attractions monitor admission numbers carefully and there is some evidence to suggest that iconic attractions like the Minster did well towards the end of the year.
It may also be that the benefits of a cleaner, safer and better illuminated City centre – sponsored by the Business Improvement District – will make a difference in future years as “word of mouth” spreads the good news..
…. but in the meantime the authorities should be producing an analysis of what went right, together with a battle plan to address any failings.