LONDONERS are the slowest in the UK at returning to work after lockdown – but how does you town rank?
Data from a think tank has shown what cities are bouncing back from lockdown quicker than others – with commuter towns recovering the fastest.
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Centre for Cities has produced a nationwide table of UK town centres to show the football compared to before lockdown.
London is at the bottom of the list closely followed by Edinburgh.
Boris Johnson has pleaded with office workers to return to work in the cities – to revive the country’s economy.
But many of the nation’s biggest companies – including RBS, Google and Facebook – are allowing their employees to work from home for the foreseeable future.
This means city centres in the capital could be deserted for some time which would be a knock-on effect for the cafes, pubs and shops that rely on office staff to keep their shutters open.
Footfall in commuter cities such as Basildon in Essex, Wigan and Chatham have appeared to bounce back as lockdown restrictions have eased.
Centre for Cities Director of Policy and Research Paul Swinney said: “London’s size and the ability of many of its office-based workers to continue to work from home are likely to be the main reasons why it is having one of the slowest recoveries from lockdown.
“Having smaller shares of private car owners is likely to be an additional factor given that many people are still reluctant to use public transport to travel into the centre.”
Mr Swinney told the MailOnline: “Low city centre footfall is very damaging to the hospitality and service sectors that depend on custom from office workers.
“Shops, restaurants and pubs are unlikely to see a return to normal levels of custom until people return to their offices.”
The data was updated on July 13, after non-essential businesses and pubs and restaurants were given the green light to reopen.
Additional research from the Centre for Economics and Business Research (CEBR) shows that one in three office staff say they intend to continue working from home after the pandemic.
It also indicated that between 25 and 30 per cent of employees will be working from home any one day in 2021.
The 10 biggest cities in the UK have seen just 14 per cent of staff back in the office.
However in cities such as Gloucester, 30 per cent of its workers have come back as they are more likely to drive to the office than take public transport.
Only one in eight workers in London have returned to the office in July, compared to nearly 50 per cent in Baslidon.
Last week, Mr Johnson called for the country to return to “near-normal” from August 1 to help revive Britain’s ailing economy.
He said: “Instead of government telling people to work from home, we’re going to give employers more discretion and ask them to make decisions about how their staff work safely.
“That could mean, of course, continuing to work from home which is one way of working safely and which has worked for many employers and employees.
“Whatever employers decide they should consult closely with their employees, and only ask people to return to their place of work if it is safe.”
Click here for to find out how your area is returning to pre-lockdown levels of activity.