Traffic scare may affect luxury sales in Central London

The UK Prime Minister has urged people over the weekend to “come back into the capital”, following claims that the 2012 Games had turned London into a “ghost town”, with commuters and non-Olympic tourists avoiding the city. David Cameron said the “threat of meltdown on the traffic system” had been defeated and London was “open for business” during the sporting events.

He said last night: “People said also that London wouldn’t cope, the traffic would grind to a halt, the capital city wouldn’t manage, that hasn’t been the case either. I think the authorities have done a good job.

Prada store, Sloane Street, London

“Clearly there is a challenge now though to say to Londoners, to the British public who’ve helped us to, as it were, defeat the threat of meltdown on the traffic system, to say to them now actually there is a case, London’s working well, it’s open for business, come back into the capital, come and shop, come and eat in London’s restaurants and let’s make sure that all of London’s economy benefits from this.”

After figures showed that footfall in the theatreland and shopping focal point of the West End was down almost 5% and Mayor Boris Johnson admitted that the Games were having a “patchy” effect on some businesses, Mr Hunt claimed the Olympics had given the city a global “cachet” that would boost long-term tourism.

Figures from Experian suggested that footfall was down 9.6% in east London stores and 4.53% in the West End compared to last year on Monday and Tuesday this week.