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Merton Council uses Vivacity Labs’ data insights to monitor high street health in Wimbledon

  • Vivacity sensors gather footfall and traffic data on High Street Wimbledon to understand ‘high street health’
  • Findings reveal that bad weather and bank holidays impacted footfall more than Plan-B COVID restrictions

Following the frequent changes in COVID restrictions over the past year, Vivacity Labs, the London-based transport technology scaleup, has worked with Merton London Borough Council to evidence the impact that restrictions had on footfall, and to identify if there was a ‘bounce back’ in the months following.

Using anonymous data starting from September 2021, Vivacity Labs’ sensors found that during the six weeks of Plan B restrictions, total traffic fell by 8% on Wimbledon High Street compared to six weeks prior. However, on the busiest days for footfall, it was weather conditions and special events such as bank holidays (Christmas) that had a much bigger effect on high street footfall than COVID restrictions.

By using Vivacity’s anonymous AI-sensor technology, the council has been able to analyse high street pedestrian and traffic movements over a sustained period of time, with an industry-leading degree of accuracy, bringing substantiated evidence of high street health.

Mark Nicholson, Vivacity Labs’ CEO, commented:  “COVID-19 severely compromised high street health, with lockdowns, enforced shop closures and work from home guidance all posing barriers. We’re delighted to have worked with Merton Council to assess and understand how the High Street is performing and reacting to pandemic recovery. Not only is it valuable for the council to analyse levels of footfall, this has the ability to inform future schemes and initiatives in the Wimbledon area.”

The findings also indicate that climate uncertainty and increasingly volatile weather patterns, such as Storm Eunice, are an influential factor when it comes to high street activity.

Andrew Parsons, IoT Programme Manager, South London Partnership: “Our work with Vivacity Labs is vital for understanding how high street activity has bounced back after the lifting of COVID restrictions and identifying regeneration trends. These insights are really important for our ongoing work to improve people’s lives in the area using IoT technology.”