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New Report Confirms Our Fears: Sydney's Nightlife Is In Serious Trouble

3 February 2016 | 1:28 pm | Neil Griffiths

New report shows late night activity has taken a huge hit.

Anyone living in Sydney would be well aware that the city's nightlife has taken a hit since the controversial lockout laws were introduced at the start of 2014, but exactly just how much late night street activity has been affected has now come to light in a new report provided by the City Of Sydney. 

The report released late last month, Late Night Management Areas: Phase 4, shows that far fewer people are staying out late in the Sydney CBD and surrounding areas, with figures proving just how much foot traffic has taken a hit. 

Conducted over two evenings last March, stats showed that compared to 2012, Kings Cross experienced 2000 fewer pedestrians in the area at 11pm on a Friday (a decrease of 58%) and by 4am, decreases of 800 people were experienced in the same precinct and Oxford Street, while there were 720 less people in the CBD South.

Though figures showed an increase in foot traffic in both Kings Cross and Oxford Street at midnight on a Saturday evening, all precincts experienced substantial decreases by 1am, specifically the Cross, which had over 1500 fewer people in the area (a drop of 55%).

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Proving just how much the lockouts are deterring people from areas within the 'lockout zone', Newtown experienced large increases in foot traffic on both Friday and Saturday evenings. 

On a Friday, nearly 1000 more people were in the area by 5pm, while 260 more pedestrians were in the precinct by 3am compared to 2012. 

Similarly, on a Saturday evening, the area again saw significant increases throughout all times of the night which peaked at 12am with 1700 more pedestrians than in 2012.

In a statement given to theMusic, a City Of Sydney spokesperson said, "The report presents data collected over two evenings only, not an audit of all night time activity in the city, so it should not be considered an evaluation of the NSW Government’s lock-out laws."

The spokesperson went on to say that while figures have decreased in some of Sydney's more popular precincts, there are positives to take from the report.

"Pedestrian traffic on Bayswater Road between 9pm and the early hours of the morning increased significantly, peaking at more than 3,000 more people at midnight than in 2012," the spokesperson said.
"In CBD South there were almost double the number of pedestrians on Friday night in comparison with 2012, with significant increases on Saturday night. The busiest area for pedestrian activity was George Street between Bathurst and Liverpool streets, which between 7pm and 8pm on Saturday had 14,352 people pass through – more pedestrian traffic than Martin Place at peak commuter time."
The report does highlight that despite fewer people staying out late, there has been a decrease in alcohol-related violence and while the City Of Sydney supports safer streets, they have assured that they will be giving their own recommendations regarding the lockouts to the state government.
"The City is committed to a safe and inclusive city at night for all residents, workers and visitors, and we support measures to address alcohol-related crime and violence," the City spokesperson said.
"We have always recommended an evaluation of lock-out laws and their impact on Sydney’s late night precincts, and we will work closely with the state government on its upcoming review."