City of York Council is to invest in new footfall cameras at several yet-to-be revealed locations across the city centre, helping the authority to gain a greater understanding of resident and visitor use and movement around the city.
Whilst York has a relatively resilient city centre in light of current market challenges, it is not entirely immune with footfall declining by approximately 6 per cent since 2009, slightly above the UK rate.
The only street currently monitored is Parliament Street, complemented with similar data from the Visitor Information Centre. It is felt that better understanding of shoppers’ movement can enabled more informed investment decisions in the future and will also allow the authority to benchmark the city in comparison to other similar sized city’s across the UK, and learn from best practice elsewhere.
Cllr James Alexander, leader of City of York council said: “Making this long overdue investment will help us gain a much better understanding of how the city centre is being used by residents and visitors, not just in our key shopping areas and attractions, but in evaluating new concerns and maximising opportunities such as our evening economy.
“We’ve embarked on a programme of investment in our public spaces throughout the city as part of reinvigorate York and the current set of cameras in Parliament street do not give an accurate reflection of public movement throughout the city. York’s diverse shopping offer for instance is across the entirety of the city centre, not just on Parliament street. Increasing the number of footfall cameras will not only monitor more accurately the numbers of people using the various areas of the city, but how they are using it”.