A new town centre report suggests that in the past 12 months there has been a decrease in footfall, while car parking in Wrexham has increased.
In a report due to go before the Employment, Business and and Investment Scrutiny Committee on Wednesday evening, a breakdown / update on town centre parking and footfall since April 2013 is provided.
The average footfall during a 10-minute period between 10:00am and 1:00pm on both market day (Monday) and a non-market day is provided, with figures given ‘Like for Like’ (LFL) against April last year.
Figures in the town centre on a Monday market day shows that footfall was down 7.7% on last year. However the report adds that ‘The day was cold and wet in comparison to warm and dry the previous year’.
On a non-market day the report shows that footfall is down 5.5% on last year, with the report adding that the review was taken on a day where there was similar weather to last year. However it must be noted that figures and percentages for 2013 are not provided in the report.
The report states: “Members will note that footfall was down from last year and car parking was up. This may relate to the free car parking after 12 noon in the town centre during the period surveyed but would mean that more sole travellers were parking rather than families or couples coming to the town centre.”
It is also noted that ‘Sales in April 2014 were up by 2.3% compared to April 2013 showing that conversion of footfall to sale was high’.
Car parking in the town centre has been subject to much debate in recent months, with parking fees in Council run car parks being increased earlier this year. In total fees for the Council’s 4,262 parking spaces have increased by up to 100%.
The Council’s ‘Free After Midday’ scheme in the People’s Market and Crescent Road car parks have also been scraped and replaced with a ‘Free After Three’ scheme.
A review taken on a market day shows that parking is up 7% in the town centre compared to last year. However the report itself does not provide the figures for car parking in the town in 2013.
Figures and a percentage are also not provided for a non-market day in the town centre.
The report goes onto comment on work / research into town centres that is being undertaken with Manchester Metropolitan University. It is stated that: “When the research has been completed at the end of 2014, the indicators used in the town centre will be reviewed in line with the findings. Early indicators are that footfall and car parking may not be the most relevant factors as they do not relate to spend levels or customer satisfaction.”
A breakdown of the ‘Wrexham Says Hello’ app figures are also provided, with a total of 1,472 downloads taking place since August 2013. The app includes downloads for both Android and IOS.
For those who are unaware, the Wrexham Says Hello / Hello World app is a leisure and shopping app that is updated with business listings, special offers and events in the town.
The report also goes on to comment on the newly implemented (and Town Centre Forum discussion favourite) coach car parking, which began last week. You can read our full story on the first outing here.
Signs for coach parking in Wrexham look set to be put up around the town this month, with it reported that ‘early indications are that coaches will start to include Wrexham in their itineraries’.
Reference is also made to upcoming town centre events such as the upcoming Ale Trail, that will take place in Wrexham later this year and the Wrexham Heritage Trail funded by Martin Rees Jewellers. An official launch is believed to take place in September this year.
A full copy of the report can be found on the Council’s website here.
We have had a few people getting in touch about this meeting since reading the report. The meeting is open to the public and will take place at the Guildhall on Wednesday evening at 6:30pm.