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Wisbech footfall counters scheme receives combined authority cash

Nearly £20,000 has been given to Wisbech Town Council to instal footfall counters on the Market Place.

The money has been awarded by the Cambridgeshire and Peterborough Combine Authority following a bid by the town council. The authority agreed to give £19,400 to the scheme at its meeting on Wednesday (27).

The aim of the counters, which are to be installed at two locations: one on High Street adjacent to the Rose and Crown Hotel and the other on the Market Place close to the entrance to the Horsefair shopping centre, will be to provide useful data on how many people are using the town centre.

Two footfall counters are to be installed on Wisbech Market Place.
Two footfall counters are to be installed on Wisbech Market Place.

In its bid, drawn up by town clerk Terry Jordan, the council explained the Horsefair already operates footfall counters but there are none in the trading "heart" of the town - Market Place, High Street or Market Street.

This means useful data on footfall in those areas is not being captured.

Thetwo new counters are to fixed to existing CCTV columns.

The data provided by way of the footfall counters in the Horsefair Shopping Centre can be used as a “rough guide” to the overall situation across the town centre but cannot be used as an accurate “picture” of town centre footfall.

The Wisbech Town Council scheme will link to the Horsefair system and will be operated by the same supplier.

The Growing Fenland: Wisbech report recommends, in the Priority 2 section, that footfall counters be introduced in the town centre.

The companyproviding the service for Wisbech Town Council provides, as part of the arrangement, a benchmarking service. Footfall data is collected by the company at more than 4,500 individual counting points across the United Kingdom.

The footfall data collected in Wisbech will enable the comparison of the town's situation to that of other towns nationally, regionally and sub-regionally.

It will also enable the town council to see what it is doing right or where it needs to re-focus its attention/objectives.

Mr Jordan said: "The value of collecting footfall data is that it helps to improve efficiencies in many areas; such as resource planning/scheduling, event planning, space management, promotional activities. The footfall counters system that is being proposed not only counts the movement of people but also vehicles.

"The latter feature would be very useful in helping to guide any future plans for the enhancement of the town centre, particularly when seeking to: reduce the potential for pedestrian/vehicular conflict; improve air quality; reduce congestion."

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