After the food festival the measured reduction in footfall year on year was challenged by a committee member. We asked Springboard to verify the validity of the measurements and they have now responded.
Their tests have shown that the footfall camera is working correctly and that the footfall headline figures that they have allowed us free access too are accurate. You will see from the image below exactly where the measurements take place. The camera will measure the number of people walking on the pavement outside the Fudge shop (old National Trust shop). However they also state that they are concerned that with only the headline figures available to us we are not able to fully analyse the results. No organisation in Dartmouth has a contract with Springboard now so they are unable to give us access to a more detailed picture or to offer any support. I will print their response below, but to summarise they are now going to stop sending us the data free of charge and will require some organisation in Dartmouth to enter into a contract for which there will be an annual charge.
This means we will now lose access to vital data regarding footfall which gives a useful indication of the economic health of the town, unless the Town or District Council are prepared to enter into a contract with Springboard. I suspect there will be a few Councillors and others breathing a sigh of relief, but losing access to the numbers will not make our footfall problem go away. I will appeal here for the DVC to publish their footfall numbers for the last 5 years with a monthly breakdown. We would also like to see the parking levels and traffic counting data that Devon County Council collects put into the public domain. That will help to give another view of visitor trends in Dartmouth. This is a public information request on behalf of the tourism sector in Dartmouth.
Letter from Springboard:
This is the current view, monitoring the pavement to the front of the Ice Cream Parlour (former National Trust shop)the view is clear for monitoring:
As previously discussed the data for Dartmouth is taken solely from this counter so any events or promotions that take place in town may not impact the counter directly on the Quay. Of course we don’t have the ability to cross reference activity since the contract ended and the counter removed from Foss Street. As we see in many locations when an area experiences a decline in footfall its sometimes due to the shift in behaviour and offer in that location. The former National Trust shop would have been a big draw, especially for tourists. The impact of its closure may now being felt and we will need 2+ years to understand if this is now the level of footfall being generated for this one location.
We are unable to commit any resource to Dartmouth as there is no contract in place. I’m going to advise that we hold from sending the data to avoid any further confusion within the business community. As you only receive headline stats the wider picture isn’t being told such as day part split, weekend vs weekday and certain days where there could be some variations in the data to help understand the decline.
I’m happy to discuss with local partners and/or the Local Authority about a contract for the town where we can then implement our expertise and analysis. I’m available on the phone Thur or Fri this week if you wanted to discuss further.
Jon Burnett | High Street Account Manager
0845 359 2835 / 00 44 7712394111