Pedestrian footfall counting in town centre

Why Count Pedestrian Footfall through a Town Centre?

Without pedestrian footfall counts, councils and town centre managers are in the dark as to precisely how a town centre is being used. Measuring footfall lets them accurately assess the impact of development initiatives on people’s movements and provides key data to inform future decisions aimed at improving the centre.

The pedestrian counts also help determine the potential for new retail stores, providing evidence for prospective businesses moving into the area. Similarly, the footfall data helps determine the level of rents which can be charged.

Comparison of changes in footfall levels and pedestrian movements over time shows whether a town centre is improving or losing trade. The rich data identifies any areas that might be declining and shows where investment may need to be targeted: an early-warning to stop the situation getting worse.

Counting pedestrians walking down a street

Traditionally footfall has been measured by people manually counting pedestrians. Now though, automatic pedestrian counters can be counting all day, every day – giving accurate data at a much cheaper cost.

The sort of data you can expect includes year-on-year trends, changes relative to the previous month, the busiest day of the month, the busiest time of the day and comparison of footfall in different areas.

Footfall measures a town centre’s ability to satisfy customer and visitor needs and expectations.

So much for why to measure pedestrian footfall. How do you do it?

The Pedestrian Footfall Counting Technology

CCTV cameras are mounted above the street to track peoples’ movements. Smart people counters connected to the cameras record how many pedestrians pass through camera’s vision. Authorised people can view the footfall information they need over the internet, in real-time if necessary. Local video analytics minimises bandwidth use.

Footfall camera counts pedestrians

The system architecture means counts for different areas and towns can be seen together as they happen. When viewed over time you get a clear picture of the performance of the town centre.

There are no limits to the size of the system, simply connect as many cameras and counters as you require.

Wide areas are covered by using two or more cameras. The smart footfall counting units know when a person moves from the vision of one camera to another, so people aren’t counted twice.

Data can be saved in a choice of formats, including MySql which is easily integrated into existing database systems. So the town centre counts could be viewed alongside, for example, counts of vehicles entering car parks.

Tried and tested in the harshest of weather, the pedestrian footfall counters are over 98% accurate even in the busiest situations.

During installation you can easily verify the counts simply by watching the video back and seeing the footfall counts increase as pedestrians walk by. The counts are bi-directional – separate totals of people going both up and down the street in your chosen timeframe. This can might be every quarter-of-an-hour or ever hour, for example.

After installation, there are no ongoing monthly or quarterly charges. We are always happy to help though, should you need any technical support.

For more information telephone Retail Sensing on +44 (0)161 839 6437 or e-mail: sales@retailsensing.com.

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