Wi-Fi solutions provider Wireless Social has released the latest data from its footfall tracker, indicating a significant uplift in footfall across UK towns and cities over the August bank holiday.
During the bank holiday, people flocked to cafes, pubs and restaurants to make the most of the conclusion of the Eat Out to Help Out (EOTHO) government scheme.
Despite still being markedly lower than pre-lockdown levels (February 2020), footfall in a number of towns and cities was the highest it has been since March.
Visitor traffic in Liverpool on Sunday 30 August (-13% on pre-lockdown levels) had risen by 25% compared to the previous week, and by 46% compared to the reopening of the sector on 4 July.
Similarly, Cardiff (-23%) beat its June (-89% on 6 June) and July (-80% on 4 July) figures, as well as Birmingham (-25%), Bristol (-25%), Edinburgh (-37%) and Manchester (-42%).
In London, footfall climbed steadily throughout August, with figures for Sunday 30 August (-38%) showing an increase of 17% compared to 4 July (-55%).
However, much of the increased traffic was driven by the ‘London villages’, such as Richmond and Wimbledon, where bank holiday footfall (-23%) had increased by 36% versus 4 July, compared to the City, Soho and Canary Wharf, where traffic was roughly 65% lower than pre-lockdown averages.
Julian Ross, CEO of Wireless Social, said: “It’s really encouraging to see footfall rise all across the nation, but the slower rates of growth in London are very concerning.
“It’s essential that the capital gets back to pre-lockdown levels of activity, but the fact that large swathes of London’s workforce will continue to work from home is likely to mean that many restaurants, pubs and cafes will continue to trade at far lower levels for longer than other parts of the country.
“That’s why we fully support UKHospitality’s latest initiative, calling on the Prime Minister and Mayor of London to support hospitality businesses in the capital, giving them the opportunity to stay afloat and get back to doing what they do best.”