Yorkshire's biggest cities face longest recovery as footfall in Leeds drops to 16 per cent of normal levels

High streets in Yorkshire’s largest cities could be set for a slow recovery from lockdown when compared to smaller cities and towns as new data shows footfall has plummeted since lockdown was imposed.

Data from the Centre for Cities showed that the UK’s largest cities were experiencing footfall at an average of 17 per cent of pre-lockdown levels.

Anonymised mobile phone data from May 24 to 31 found that average footfall in Leeds was just 16 per cent of normal levels with Sheffield at 23 per cent.

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Conversely, Wakefield was still experiencing footfall of 40 per cent of that of pre-lockdown levels.

Footfall into Leeds has slumped massively during lockdown.Footfall into Leeds has slumped massively during lockdown.
Footfall into Leeds has slumped massively during lockdown.

With nonessential business due to reopen on Monday June 15, the Centre for Cities suggested that it is not enough for the Government to simply lift the lockdown and expect the economy to return to normal.

It called for the temporarily cutting of VAT and alcohol duty to encourage high street spending in shops and pubs, as well as offering the public vouchers to spend in local businesses – both chains and independents

Additionally, councils are being called upon to ease planning rules to allow cafés, bars and restaurants to temporarily take up space rent free on pavements and parking spaces outside their properties.

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Here is how Yorkshire's largest places fared in terms of per centage of normal footfall levels:

Leeds - 16 per cent

Sheffield - 23 per cent

Hull - 24 per cent

York - 24 per cent

Doncaster - 27 per cent

Bradford - 27 per cent

Huddersfield - 30 per cent

Barnsley - 39 per cent

Wakefield - 40 per cent