Footfall in Lancaster city centre significantly down, but not by as much as national average

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Visitor numbers plummeted by as much as 80 per cent during lockdown, but things have begun to improve in July and August, according to new figures.

Lancaster BID's city centre footflow counters recorded a drop in pedestrian traffic by up to 80 per cent during the lockdown period.

However, at the beginning of July, footflow was down by 38 per cent, reducing to just under 35 per cent in the last week of that month.

In the first week of August, it was down 32 per cent.

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Lancaster city centre.Lancaster city centre.
Lancaster city centre.

Tony Johnson, manager of Lancaster BID, which represents businesses in the city centre, said that the mix of strong independent businesses and national brands have worked whilst people have had a 'Shop and support Local' theme in their mind.

Lancaster has fared better than the country as a whole, which has seen average reductions in footflow of between 44 and 50 per cent during the month of July.

Mr Johnson said that fewer people going on holiday during the summer months has also helped the city.

A recent survey by, found that 63 per cent of 3,000 Lancaster residents say they are making efforts to shop at and support local businesses during this time, rather than large franchises and chain stores.

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Footfall in Lancaster is down, but not by as much as the national average.Footfall in Lancaster is down, but not by as much as the national average.
Footfall in Lancaster is down, but not by as much as the national average.

Mr Johnson said: "In some of the months we were in lockdown it was (understandably) up to 80 per cent down year on year, but Lancaster in footflow terms is performing better than most areas I get to see.

"Also, feedback we are getting is that even though footflow is down “basket sales” or average order value is quite a bit up.

"The hospitality trade have been finding it tough, but again early indications is that the Governments Eat Out to Help Out is having a positive effect."

The initiative, which gives customers money off food and soft drinks bought in restaurants, runs until the end of August.

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Mr Johnson said that feedback from the hospitality sector indicated that the government scheme is working very well, but is changing peoples habits as they are not as busy as normal between Thursday and Sunday.

Unemployment in the UK rose by the largest amount in over a decade between April and June, official figures show.

The number of people in work decreased by 220,000 on the quarter, said the Office for National Statistics.

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