As many of you know Dartmouth Business News has been publishing footfall data for Dartmouth quay for over a year now. The data shows a sharp decline in visitor numbers walking along this central street. We have been challenged many times on the validity of the data but the evidence for the fall is clear to anyone who walks that street regularly.
The decline is sure to have an impact on local businesses in the lower town and although we have speculated on the reasons for the decline, what is important is that we respond to this challenge or the whole community will feel the impact.
However the problem we have now is that Springboard have lost patience with Dartmouth after several unprompted requests for support from the town. I have asked them to check the readings three times, Cllr Coles approached them directly without informing me and their latest action was to send me a snapshot of the view that the camera is seeing, thus confirming that the camera is working correctly. The result is that they have now decided not to provide me with exclusive free access to the summary data any longer. Springboard are now only prepared to provide the full supported data if we enter into a contract with them. See the email I received below:
I believe this footfall data is vital to understanding the economic health of the town and I will be appealing to both the Town and District Councils to help fund a contract with Springboard for the continued supply of the data. I would estimate that this contract would cost about £3000 per annum and hope I can persuade the local authorities of the value of this information.
Tourism is at the heart of our economy and visitor numbers are a real indicator of how successful we are at getting our message over.:
Dartmouth is a fantastic place to visit and to stay