NOT enough is being done to promote late-night shopping in York, residents claim.

City centre retailers have reported disappointing results since they began staying open until 8pm every Thursday.

A meeting is planned between traders, tourist chiefs and City of York Council to discuss ways of improving the situation, as many York shoppers are still not aware late-night shopping is happening every week.

Paul Van Schanke, 29, a graphic designer of Holgate Road, York, said not enough was being done to promote it.

"I didn't have a clue about it," he said. "There is nothing in the city centre to inform people about it.

"I think it's a great idea and perfect for someone like me who doesn't get back from work until 6pm."

Father-of-two Dave Wooldridge, from York, said: "I knew about the late-night shopping from the Evening Press, but I've not seen anything in the city centre to promote it apart from a few leaflets.

"It's definitely something I would use in the future."

Derek Gedman, store manager at Littlewoods, said: "It will take time for it to get going. Customers are just not used to coming in yet."

Gillian Cruddas, chief executive of York Tourism Bureau, said all the interested parties must work together to get it right.

"One of the problems is that some retailers are waiting to see if it takes off before they spend a lot of money promoting it," she said.

"We've all got to get behind it collectively - it's a wonderful opportunity."

Brian Littlejohn, store manager at Marks & Spencer, said: "Maybe we've not been aggressive enough in promoting it, but we will be having conversations shortly to improve that.

"Even so I'm delighted with the progress that has been made."

A City of York Council spokeswoman said: "We recognise that late-night shopping has got off to a slow start, but it was always going to take a while to raise awareness of the new retail hours.

"The council has worked with the

local retail community to facilitate late-night shopping, organising

increased pedestrianisation hours, street entertainment, extended parking and Park & Ride services.

"Ultimately, the impetus needs to come from retailers and we are

meeting with representatives from the city centre outlets later this week to discuss how we can move the project forward."

Len Cruddas, chief executive of the Chamber of Commerce, said: "As well as publicity in the Evening Press, there have been flyers and posters, but there are constraints on the use of posters because of planning regulations. We have limited funds and not a huge budget so there isn't a big publicity campaign. We have to make as much as we can from the resources available."

Updated: 10:43 Tuesday, May 20, 2003