Paul, where are the footfall cameras located? Do they measure only people or vehicles also? Do they represent the town as a whole? For example if I drove from Stoke Flaming into Dartmouth, parked in Flavel Place and went to Market Square to shop, then visited the leisure centre, would I be counted in?
Hi Ray Thanks for your interest in the Springboard reports. The measuring camera is positioned above what used to be the National Trust shop by the Quay. There is also a camera at the junction of Foss street and Victoria road but I do not have access to its data. If you want to know more about how they work then read the Springboard technology report here https://www.spring-board.info/technology . This shows how they count people and use sophisticated software to analyse what the camera is seeing. They can count road traffic and people traffic separately. No they do not represent the town as a whole but give a reasonable indication of relative footfall YOY and WOW (year on year and week on week) around the quay.If you dont pass the camera then you wont be counted. So there could be other factors that influence the traffic around the quay. I have been asked by Paul Downing of the Dart Marina to source more data about ferry traffic and road traffic just to complement the footfall numbers. However if you talk to some of the accommodation providers you will find that they are seeing a reduced level of visitors also. Remember also that regatta took place during week 34 last year and not week 35 like this year so the numbers will be distorted. It probably is not as high as the 30% we are seeing around the quay, because that will be influenced for instance by local people shopping at Sainsburys and Lidl instead of Coop and M&S because of the parking issue. So I can only offer a limited analysis of what the footfall cameras are telling us, but they do show a worrying trend against a background of increased visitor numbers to Devon and Cornwall as recently reported on TV. I get negative responses from some people when I publish these figures, but not publishing them does not make the problem go away. I know from my days in business that data about your market and customers is vital to running a successful concern, so I hope the figures I publish eventually result in a response from somewhere. Someone, somewhere must accept responsibility for the economic performance of Dartmouth at some point.
Hope that helps
Paul, you know that I am not the sharpest knife in the box and there are some that consider me to be a few sandwiches short of a picnic,but these footfall cameras how do you ascertain whether the same people are being counted more than once if not more, though like many others I shop at the two big retail shops on the Townstal estate we were warned when the proposals were at the planning stage it would impact on the Town Center,and Week 35 I guess will show a decline in Regatta footfall numbers as the Air shows, Coronation Park Shopping Village and Thursday night firework displays were historically crowd pullers, but at the same time as explained many times and verified by Chairman Ed Botterill at the Regatta opening, the Regatta treasury is not a bottomless pit and tough financial decisions had to be made, I am certainly grateful that we have a team of volunteers willing to give their time up for others to enjoy there time, hopefully Regatta 2018 has not made a loss as it will impact on Regatta 2019.
Shame we dont have a footfall camera sited in the Old Market it may have been helpful to the Police with their investigations on finding the culprits that recently devastated the place with their criminal act, and yes as an elected member of Dartmouth Town Council I am fully supportive of CCTV in Dartmouth and the Market Place will I hope be on the list for coverage.
Thanks for the comments Steve. I have always thought of you as a feast of knowledge and wisdom never mind the sandwiches! If you look at my newsletter email you will see that I urge people not to judge this regatta against other years. I agree with you the financial survival of the regatta is paramount and I like the fact that it is now focused on the water based events. We must wait to see if the financial facts support this change but I suspect many locals are much happier about this new format. I worry about the general lack of visitors to the town but overload of visitors is almost as bad. The footfall cameras do not provide video recording of people so they would not be a substitute for CCTV, the cameras simply analyse and count the number of people passing the site of the camera and you are right some people will be counted several times, but the British Retail Consortium confirms that footfall is the best indicator of the economic activity in an area. Businesses are reluctant to tell you details of their finances so footfall is all you have to gauge activity. If someone passes the camera several times they may well be visiting several shops to do their Xmas shopping for instance, so I don’t think there are any technical reasons to discount the results as meaningful. I just wish the Town Council would take its interest in the TIC seriously and measure its success in bringing visitors to the town. The West Country is clearly thriving in some locations but not here in Dartmouth. I think it is important to understand why. I have my views, which may be wrong, but please at least attempt to reverse this trend in visitor decline, cos no one else will!
Glad you find my reports of value. It means the figures for both weeks will be distorted. Week 34 shows a big drop from last year’s regatta week and wk35 the opposite effect. I don’t have access to absolute numbers so further analysis is impossible.