City of Lincoln Council – Installation of four footfall counters in Lincoln city centre
In previous years footfall data in the City of Lincoln had been captured using our CCTV camera system. Whilst this data was helpful, it wasn’t particularly reliable. This was mainly due to the cameras detecting movement rather than individuals. This resulted in double or triple counting of individuals where they had passed the same camera more than once, resulting in inaccurate and unreliable data.
When COVID hit, as in all areas, footfall in Lincoln city centre decreased significantly. To accurately monitor the impacts of COVID, and importantly the recovery of the city centre during each reopening phase, it was important that the council and our partners had accurate, live footfall data available as quickly as possible.
When looking to source footfall monitors there were a number of products we could choose. However, following a procurement exercise it was very clear that the Geo-sense footfall monitoring product offered by Proximity Futures provided the most accurate footfall data, together with the most user-friendly reporting tools to meet our needs.
Following a site visit to identify possible locations to place the monitors, the installation of the monitors went extremely well. The team were great to work with and from the commencement of the project, our four sensors were up and running in under two months. This ensured we had accurate footfall data in time for city centre shops reopening in the run up to Christmas.
We have now had the footfall monitors running for around four months. During this period, we have been able to accurately monitor footfall data throughout these difficult times, as shops have opened and closed in line with government restrictions. The ability to view live data and quickly produce reports has proven to be extremely helpful to both the council and our partners when allocating resource.
Following the installation of the monitors, Proximity Futures has been very supporting, both in providing training on the Geo-sense system to a number of colleagues and partners, but also in building bespoke reporting tools to further meet our individual needs.
Whilst our four city centre footfall monitors have only been running for a relatively short period of time, we can clearly see the value of these, and we are already in the process of increasing the number of footfall monitors in the city. This will allow the council and our partners to monitor footfall over a much wider area.
Moving forwards, the footfall monitors will allow the council and partners to accurately monitor the impact of shops reopening, and importantly, the economic recovery of Lincoln city centre post the coronavirus pandemic.
As the year progresses the footfall data will also be extremely helpful in monitoring footfall and the success of city events, such as the ever-popular Lincoln Christmas Market. Collectively the data will also be used by the council and partners to attract new businesses to the city in the future to support Lincoln’s economic growth.
Graham Rose, Strategic Senior Policy Officer