Brits have shunned the high street today as temperatures are expected to hit 40 degrees on Monday, while some businesses in London have closed.
Office workers have shunned their workplace air-con and opted to avoid sweltering public transport, Springboard’s footfall figures reveal.
Springboard’s ‘back to the office’ benchmark for central London office hubs shows that footfall is down 18.1 per cent compared to last week while central London overall was 16.1 per cent down.
For high streets across the UK, footfall was down 7.3 per cent compared to last Monday, for the period up to 11am.
Usually warm weather and sunshine means “shoppers gravitate to outdoor locations, and so footfall in high streets tends to increase while decreasing in shopping centres,” Diane Wehrle, insights director at Springboard said.
“However, with the extreme heat today the reverse has occurred,” she said, with shoppers flocking to shopping centres and retail parks for their air-con.
Londoners have been advised to work from home if they can, with Transport for London stating London Underground usage was down 18 per cent compared to last Monday, for the period until 10am.
There were around 1.06m entries and exits had been made on the Tube – which was around 50 per cent of pre-pandemic demand.
Some 1.07m bus journeys were made up until 10am, around 81 per cent pre-pandemic demand and down 10 per cent from last week.
The UK has declared its first ever ‘Level 4’ heatwave emergency alert, with illness and fatalities possible among fit and healthy individuals.
The Mayor of London warned Londoners to only travel if essential on Monday and Tuesday and to be prepared for disruption to services due to precautionary speed restrictions on parts of the Tube and Rail network.
Some restaurants and bakeries in London have opted to close on Monday and Tuesday to protect staff.
The Dusty Knuckle bakery and pizza bar in Dalston told customers it would close to “look after the troops” as kitchen temperatures were set to reach extreme levels.
More to follow…