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Wednesday, 23rd September 2020

Learning the lessons of pedestrianisation

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Traffic in the rest of West Street and approach roads was thrown into chaos during the weekend's pedesriainisation of the section of West Street from Duke Street to the Tholsel. Photo: Andy Spearman.

“Keep your business in town to help keep your town in business” - traders

One of LoveDrogheda BID’s (Business Improvement District) aims is to make shopping in Drogheda more enjoyable. They are busy sifting through the data and learning the lessons of last weekend’s trial pedestrian of West Street.

Early data shows that numbers in town increased by between 17 and 19 per cent on the Saturday but down on the Sunday compared to recent weeks.

They are also collating information gleaned from several footfall counters which are placed at various strategic places around town and an independent public perception survey that was conducted on Saturday the 19th of September.

“We are in the process of engaging with the business community for their direct feedback via a Business Survey and look forward to collecting all the information that this entails” said a spokesperson.

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“Regarding the trial Pedestrianisation, there were certain elements that worked well for the general public and some that didn’t work.

“Traffic management, congestion and appropriate signage was a large issue on Saturday on approach roads such as Duke Street, Narrow West Street and at the Linenhall Bridge while traffic on Peter St through Shop St was free flowing for a change.

“Early indications suggest that some businesses had an increase in footfall while others suffered a decline.”

Footfall figures for September weekends

Based on the figures above and comparing them to previous weeks, footfall was up in both the Town Centre (14%) and West Street (19%) on Saturday the 19th. Sunday’s footfall indicates that footfall is down across the town centre by 14% compared to the week previous however it is up on West Street by 2%. 

 “This trial has taken place to help assist in the economic stimulus of the town centre during the pandemic” the spokesperson said.

“There is lots to be learned from this trial in terms of both public perceptions and from the business community.

“Part of the funding used for the trial will assist in delivering new seated areas (Parklets) and improved public realm in the near future that will be a long term asset to the town centre.

Some of the key findings from the Public Perception survey include the following;

“Those surveyed indicated that Customer Service, Street cleanliness and Product Range were the top three most important factors that assisted in the town centre retail experience. Interestingly parking availability ranked fourth on the list of priorities with opening hours coming in near the bottom of the list at seventh place.

“In terms of shop safety for town centre users and visitors, the survey indicated that those surveyed are very happy with the shopping environment with 69.11% indicating they feel very safe, 24.39% feel reasonably safe and 6.5% feel not very safe. This is a remarkable turnaround from our Purple Flag survey back in 2019 where the general feeling was one of fear in the midst of a gangland feud.

Pedestrians enjoying the freedom of the street on Saturday.

 

Christmas Shopping intention of those surveyed

The survey also asked the question: Christmas is fast approaching - what statement best describes your intended shopping behaviour?

  • I will do most of my Christmas shopping in Drogheda 44.72%
  • I will do most of my shopping online from businesses outside of Drogheda 15.45%
  • I will do a mixture of local and online shopping from businesses outside of Drogheda 28.46%
  • Other 11.38%

“Love Drogheda would urge the general public to help support your local town and businesses within Drogheda by making a conscious effort to shop and support your local business community this year.

“There are huge levels of variety throughout Drogheda and we are asking you to keep your business in town to help keep your town in business.

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