Boots Corner footfall data
We commissioned a private data collection company to record pedestrian footfall, cyclist counts, number of people sitting down, number of bicycles parked, and number of wheelchairs in the Boots Corner area, on four separate weeks:
- Week 1 (commencing 11 June): before the Boots Corner through road was closed to general traffic
- Week 2 (commencing 2 July): first full week of trial restrictions
- Week 3 (commencing 8 October): after temporary changes were made to the space, including new benches, planters and bike racks.
- Week 4 (commencing 14 November): a second week for after the changes were made to the public space and also following major shop openings along the high street. (We are currently awaiting the data for this and it will be analysed in the new year)
These weeks were chosen to fall outside of school holidays. We also did our best to avoid major town events, but this just wasn’t possible. However, this shows the nature of our thriving town: events were taking place across all four weeks where data was collected.
We're using these figures just to give us an early indication of how the closure and changes to the public space may be affecting movement in the area. Of course we're aware that other factors such as events and the weather may have an impact too.
Here are the totals for the first three weeks:
|Week 1||14,657 total pedestrian movements|
|Week 2||27,008 total pedestrian movements|
|Week 3||31,695 total pedestrian movements|
|Week 1||220 total cyclist movements|
|Week 2||674 total cyclist movements|
|Week 3||694 total cyclist movements|
People sitting down
*please note the figures for week two were taken after the railing had been removed from Clarence Street and before the new bike racks had been installed.
Collecting the data
The way the data was collected was the same for each recording week to allow comparison. Cameras were placed at Boots Corner to record footage for analysis.
“Footfall” measures the number of pedestrians passing between Boots and the end of the fountain plinth (imagine an invisible line drawn here) in both westerly and easterly directions. So, if a person was to walk over this invisible line towards the Brewery that would be one footfall “count” in a westbound direction; alternatively if a person was to walk over the invisible line towards Marks and Spencer that would be one footfall “count” in an eastbound direction. Therefore, after a whole hours recording we end up with multiple counts for both westbound and eastbound. The total of these westbound and eastbound counts is the number of pedestrian movements at Boots Corner for a given hour.
“Cyclist counts” follows the same method for “footfall”. A “cyclist” includes a person walking with a bicycle.
For each recording week, 21 hours were recorded (3 hours per day, each hour covering the “peak periods” of 0800-0900, 1230-1330, 1700-1800). Therefore, a total number of pedestrian movements can be calculated for the recording week.
Further information on the way the data was collected
It’s worth noting that “pedestrian footfall” and “cyclist counts” may include a single person/cyclist going past the camera multiple times in the same hour of recording.
These counts are analysed automatically, and the accuracy of this has been given 90% by the provider of this service. However, random manual checks of this take place and have shown figures to be more than 95% accurate.
“Number of people sitting down” was counted manually from recorded footage at 5 minute intervals by the contractor.
“Number of bicycles parked” was counted manually from recorded footage at 5 minute intervals. For week 1, this focused on the 7 bike stands next to Starbucks and the railing on to Clarence Street. For week 2, this focused on the 7 bike stands next to Starbucks only as the railings had been removed. For weeks 3 and 4, this focused on the 2 new cycle racks provided in the road spaces after the stands next to Starbucks had been removed.
“Number of wheelchairs” includes mobility scooters and was counted manually from recorded footage at 5 minute intervals by the contractor.
A person sitting, a wheelchair in the space or a bicycle parked may be counted more than once if they were in the space for longer than the 5 minute interval. For example, if a person was sitting for a whole hour, then they would make up 12 of the total counts for that hour. This means that, from the data, we don’t know how much of the percentage change is because people are sitting or parking their bikes for longer. However, this method was kept consistent across the recording weeks, making it suitable for comparison between the weeks.