London’s summer heatwave sparked plunge in footfall as Mayor warns against climate crisis
The summer heatwave saw London visitors plunge as commuters swap the City for the shade, says London Mayor Sadiq Khan.
Speaking at the Reuters IMPACT Conference later today, the Mayor will reveal that on 18 July, when temperatures in London exceeded 35 degrees, there were 385,640 daytime workers in central London, when 518,000 workers would usually be expected. This equates to just 74 per cent of footfall compared to June 2022.
On the same day, there were 275,000 daytime visitors to central London, when a normal day would expect to see more than 361,000 people. This equates to just 76 per cent of June 2022 footfall.
Khan will also explain that the drop in visitors and workers in central London during the heatwave was comparable to the announcement of Plan B Covid restrictions in December 2021 when office workers were encouraged to work from home.
“For decades, we’ve known this train has been hurtling in our direction. But it’s only now that it’s finally caught up with us that the sense of crisis is at its most acute,” Khan will tell Reuters today, emphasising the climate concerns.
“For the first time ever, London overheated. Vicious wildfires overwhelmed emergency services. Destroyed homes. And infrastructure was crippled by extreme heat. We also saw a dramatic drop in footfall across central London to the detriment of our businesses,” he is expected to say.
“When we look back at this period of history no one will be able claim with any credibility that we were not given fair warning – that we could not see disaster bearing down on us.”