This week the Leith Business Association held a meeting where the results of a customer survey on transport were released.
In the case of Arkay Imaging nearly two thirds of the customers walked, cycled or took the bus to the shop. But unsuprisingly, given the nature of the business when it comes to the Bed Shop, two thirds of customers drove to the shop.
Across these two fairly specialist businesses – just under half of their customers used some form active travel or public transport to get to the shops indicating that many businesses are drawing local shoppers rather than those from further afield.
This would appear to fit fairly well with other research that’s been undertaken into independent shops and local high streets elsewhere in the UK and Europe which have found that the number of pedestrian shoppers can be underestimated – and that their value to the local economy is also under-rated. This because shoppers on foot tend to visit more shops than car drivers.
Furthermore, a clear majority of those surveyed supported better provision for cyclists using Leith Walk. 43 out of the 64 people surveyed agreed that cycle lanes were needed on Leith Walk – with some respondents highlighting in the comments concerns over the numbers of pavement cyclists.
Although the sample size in this survey is not large – the results serve to underline public support for improved cycle facilities on Leith Walk from people who probably wouldn’t consider themselves everyday cyclists, and corroborates once again, the findings from the Vision For Leith Walk community consultation.
You can read the final Vision For Leith Walk Report here.
Meanwhile, the Leith Neighbourhood Partnership have announced a new timescale for Leith Walk improvements. Council officers plan to run a further public consultation process on the detailed design proposals they come up with for Leith Walk and Constitution Street between Novemeber and January.
They have also set-up a series of dedicated pages on the council website, which they say will be updated with more information as their work progresses.