Here are the Springboard footfall figures for Dartmouth during week 20, 2021. They again show a dramatic increase over last years figures during the lockdown. However the impact of this increase on the town center was significant. I can relate from my own experience that on Sunday it was impossible to find a meeting place for a coffee with friends. The Market Square was strangely closed (on a very busy day). Is this normal? if so it is crazy! After the lockdown businesses need every opportunity to recover their finances so why close the market square on a very busy visitor day? We then went to the Royal Castle to try for a coffee table, closed until midday!! After visits to Bayard’s Cove, Alfresco’s and a few other hostelries, all of which had queues for a table, we gave up and went back to our friends house for the coffee.
Now I understand that the weather was rubbish so many people were looking for indoors entertainment. Also the outdoor area on the South Embankment was unusable because of the weather, but Dartmouth must be able to cater for these visitor numbers better than that. If not the season will be a very frustrating experience for many visitors. Please open the Market Square on a Sunday as that would provide a significant number of extra hospitality covers.
Sorry about the moan but I want Dartmouth to make the most of this season while people are taking staycations.