New research confirms that Sydney’s streets are dead at night

Sydney’s lockout laws have successfully emptied the streets after 1am on the weekend, a new research report by the City of Sydney has confirmed, with Kings Cross and Oxford Street seeing a drop of over 80% in late night punters since 2012.

The Late Night Research project has been gathering data on night-time foot traffic and anti-social incidents in Sydney city since 2010, tracking huge drops in both the number of revellers and their bad behaviour.

The plan, City of Sydney says, is to transform the city by 2030 from a party zone for young people into a place for late night shopping and visitors over 40 years old.

The most recent research was done on a Friday and Saturday night in March 2015, taking in the city from Newtown and Glebe to Surry Hills and Redfern, Darlinghurst and Kings Cross, and across the CBD to Pyrmont.

The data confirms what club owners and punters in Sydney have long been saying: lockout-free late night areas like Newtown have seen a surge in the number of people out after 1am, while the lockout zone of Sydney CBD and Kings Cross are comparative ghost towns.

Anti-social behaviour in the city has also dropped by 80%, the research says, although the largest drop happened before lockouts (between 2010 and 2012).

Of the 1465 incidents of anti-social behaviour incidents recorded in 2015’s survey, more than half (52%) were “non-serious: making noise, horsing around, singing or playing,”and 38% of incidents were “less serious: drunken behaviour like vomiting, staggering, and public urination.”

Since the CBD lockout and last drinks laws came into effect in February 2014, more than a dozen venues in the zone have shut up shop, including Hugo’s Lounge – which complained of an 80% drop in customers – and fellow Kings Cross spots Soho and Backroom, as well as Oxford Street’s massive Q-Bar complex, and the CBD’s revered Goodgod (which changed hands and has reopened as Plan B). You can check out the full research report from City of Sydney here.