Shoppers avoid city centre marred by tram work

Essential Edinburgh say shoppers are staying away because of the trams works

SHOPPERS are avoiding some of Scotland’s busiest shopping streets because of renewed tram work.

The average weekly number of visitors to Edinburgh has slumped by 14,000 to 102,000 since the work began on September 10, and is down 8% on the same period last year.

Essential Edinburgh, which represents city centre traders, said they were disappointed by the figures and hoped the temporary stop in works for the Christmas season would help bring shoppers back to the area.

Chief executive Andy Neal said: “There is some indication people aren’t coming into the city centre, but looking forward there are plans in place to make this an absolutely outstanding Christmas and Hogmany.

“As soon as you take busses offPrinces Streetthat is going to reduce footfall and there will be an increase inGeorge Street.

However, that George Street uplift wasn’t quite as strong as it was last time [Princes Streetwas closed] and perhaps that suggests there are fewer people coming into the city centre in total.

“With all the publicity around the works people may think it’s not worth coming in.”

Council leader Jenny Dawe said: “We do acknowledge the difficulties and challenges the tram works have created for the city centre, especially for the business community, which is why we are providing close to £900,000 over the next two years to provide tailored support to businesses and other stakeholders.”