Traffic on the UK's main roads has dropped 3 percent in seven days as local lockdown restrictions dealt a new blow to retailers today.
The annual decline in visitor numbers across the UK reached a staggering 32.9% last week, with the largest annual decline in Wales at 40.3% as a result of tough new lockdowns.
Northern Ireland has seen a decrease of around 40.1% and a further 38.2% in Scotland, where lockdown measures have been tightened in recent days.
According to the latest data from retail expert Springboard, the number of people shopping in UK retail destinations – including high streets, shopping malls and retail parks – has fallen by 1.2 percent in the past week.
According to the latest data from retail expert Springboard, the number of people shopping in UK retail destinations – including high streets, shopping malls and retail parks – has fallen by 1.2 percent in the past week. In the picture an almost deserted main street in Cardiff
It was only around a third of the 3.1 percent weekly decline the week before. However, it is not yet known how the fire lockdown in Wales, in conjunction with the halftime school holidays, could affect next week's numbers.
Most of last week's decline was caused by major roads – as visitor numbers in shopping centers fell 0.1 percent and in retail parks increased as much as 1.3 percent.
Diane Wehrle, Insights Director at Springboard, said: & # 39; The appeal of retail parks to shoppers with their easy car access, free parking, outdoor spaces and large stores, and the majority grocery store presence is again demonstrated, with an increase the number of visitors from the previous week to this destination type in all four UK countries. & # 39;
Last week it was revealed that the number of visitors to central London has decreased by 60 percent compared to 2019, while the number of regional cities has decreased by around 50 percent.
Springboard's numbers show that the number of shoppers in Scotland fell 2.7 percent in the past week alone.
In Wales there were 3.8 percent fewer shoppers as the circuit breakers were locked and in Northern Ireland visitor numbers tripled – to 12.2 percent.
In Northern Ireland and across the UK, traffic on main roads was the hardest hit, with a 15.5 percent decrease. This compared to 2.6 percent in shopping malls and a 1.5 percent increase in retail parks.
Warrington main street. Most of last week's decline was caused by major streets – as visitor numbers in shopping malls fell 0.1 percent and in retail parks increased as much as 1.3 percent
Traffic on the main street in Northern Ireland was affected throughout the day, but more after 5 p.m. when it rose 29.7 percent, compared with 15.3 percent in Wales, 9.9 percent in Scotland and an average of 2.1 percent declined across England.
In Wales, visitor numbers fell 3.8 percent over the week, but most of the drop came on Saturday when the fire broke out.
It caused an immediate 66.3 percent decrease from week to week as people were banned from buying non-essential items.
Non-essential aisles were taped over the weekend in supermarkets across the country as officials ensured that independent businesses that had been forced to close were not unjustly attacked by the two-week hiatus.
It sparked anger today when a supermarket closed its tampon and feminine hygiene aisle due to a break-in.
Shocked shoppers thought the items were not essential and went on social media to complain.
A couple wearing protective face covers walks past a closed shop on Oxford Street in London on October 17th. Last week it was revealed that the number of visitors to central London was down 60 percent compared to 2019, while the number of regional cities fell by around 50 percent
The latest figures show that the annual decline in visitor numbers in Wales has increased from an average of 33.3 percent on the first six days of the week to 76.6 percent on Saturdays. This is the largest annual decrease in visitor numbers in Wales per year since June 6th.
Ms. Wehrle said: “The series of additional restrictions that went into effect late last week has not yet had a noticeable impact on footfall to retail destinations across the UK in general.
& # 39; With the exception of Wales, which has been on a fire hiatus for 17 days, retail stores continue to trade, which along with the fact that restrictions started on Saturday – the last day of the weekly period – are affecting the week as a whole . & # 39;
She said the situation was "more nuanced" in the rest of the UK, adding that visitor numbers in the decentralized countries had "fallen far more sharply".
A woman with protective face covering checks her phone as she walks down central Oxford Street in London on October 17th
"The biggest drop in visitor numbers was in Northern Ireland, which suffered during the day, but especially after 5pm, when hospitality closed its doors on Saturday," she said.
"In Wales, visitor numbers plummeted on Saturday, the first day non-essential retail stores were closed, resulting in a year-on-year decline on that one day that matched the decline in visitor numbers during the lockdown."
Meanwhile, traffic jams in the capital have decreased this week after the half-time break began.
During today's rush hour, the level was just 31 percent, a decrease of 46 percent last week and an average of 52 percent last year.
New research suggests that deserted main streets and city centers are hindering the UK's recovery.
Shoppers on Oxford Street hours before a fire lock goes into effect on October 23rd in Swansea, Wales
The urban areas in Scotland and southern England have seen the largest drop in vacancy rates, according to the Center for Cities.
Indeed, the think tank and construction site found that seven months after the nationwide lockdown, vacancies in all 63 cities studied have not returned to pre-Covid levels.
Aberdeen saw the largest decline, down 75 percent year over year, followed by Edinburgh (57 percent), Belfast and the town of Crawley in West Sussex (both 55 percent).
The sixth largest drop in job postings is in London, at 52 percent, while vacancies in the UK are 46 percent below last year's level, the report said.
The rise in people working from home has dried up demand for local services in major cities, and while no part of the country or sector has escaped the labor market crisis, those where high-street visitor numbers have normalized faster, such as Birkenhead, Chatham, back to normal, and Hull have seen faster vacancies rebound.
This graph shows the congestion rates in London over the past seven days, which have fallen from 46 to 31 percent
This graph shows the number of trips per day with the subway (red) and with the bus (blue) until October 17th
This graph shows the number of taps made with contactless cards or oyster cards on the tube, filtered by station and station type
Andrew Carter, Executive Director of the Center for Cities said: “As unemployment continues to rise, the number of jobs for people who are unemployed in every major UK city is well below last year's levels. This could have catastrophic consequences for people and the economy in the long term.
“The government has told us that we have to expect a hard winter. While local lockdowns are necessary to protect lives, it is important that ministers continue to listen and reassess support to help people and places deal with the months ahead.
The Chancellor has made welcome changes to the Job Support Program to help save jobs, but many places across the country ran short of jobs prior to the pandemic, so more job creation is vital to long-term economic damage for their local economy to prevent. & # 39;
Indeed's Pawel Adrjan said restrictions that persist in parts of the country are causing a “tentative recovery” in vacancies.
"With the trend towards remote working showing no signs of slowing and entire regions becoming more tightly controlled, service jobs in big cities could become even scarcer and drag the UK into an employment spiral," he said. "That could mean a very long winter for the millions of people who are currently unemployed."
A Treasury Department spokesman said: “We have put in place a comprehensive plan to protect, support and create jobs across all regions of the UK and have recently increased the generosity of our winter aid programs, including our expanded job support system which will protect jobs in open or closed places closed company.
"We are also providing additional funding for local authorities and decentralized administrations to support local businesses."
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