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First day of UK rail strikes impacts high street footfall, central London hit hardest

By Huw Hughes

22 Jun 2022

Retail

Image: Pexels

High street footfall in the UK has taken a hit from the first day of strikes by rail workers, new data shows.

Up until 1pm on Tuesday, footfall across all UK high streets was down 8.5 percent compared to the same day a week earlier, according to new data from retail insights company Springboard.

Rail workers across the UK are striking on Tuesday, Thursday and Saturday, over salaries and working conditions.

Last-minute talks to avoid the strikes fell through on Monday between the government and The National Union of Rail, Maritime and Transport Workers (RMT).

Diane Wehrle, insights director at Springboard, said in a statement: “The impact on train and tube strikes today on footfall is very clear to see, with a large proportion of people clearly working from home.”

Footfall in Central London was hardest hit, down 27 percent week-over-week, while footfall in city centres outside of the capital was down 11.2 percent.

Outer London and market towns were impacted to a lesser degree, with footfall down 6.2 percent and 2 percent, respectively. Springboard said this was synonymous with home working “as it is easier for people who are in their home offices to visit their local high street during working hours”.

FootFall
Springboard