Footfall in Winchester saw a significant increase last year according to Winchester BID figures.

The group have sensors installed around the city which gives them data about the number of people.

The sensors are located at Bridge Patisserie, Lower High Street, Theatre Royal and Zizzis.

Various lockdowns and re-openings have meant the figures are varied, but there are some surprising numbers.

The most recent figures, from December 2021, show there was a total count of 174,227, with an average weekly footfall of 34,845.

This was seven per cent higher than November 2021 and 79 per cent higher than December 2020.

It also shows that it was nine per cent higher than December 2019.

In comparison national footfall statistics, released by Springboard, show that in the last week of 2021 there was a 78 per cent increase from the same week in 2020, but a 24.5 per cent decrease from 2019.

In November, the figures show that the busiest day was November 20 with 8,352 counted. This was the first Saturday of the Winchester Christmas Market.

Winchester BID’s executive director Paul Spencer, explained how the data is collected.

He said: “The key measure is the trend rather than the specific numbers themselves because of course the sensors only pick up people going past them and do not capture the total of everyone in the city centre.

“However, by having sensors strategically placed around the city we can monitor trends of increases and decreases in footfall.”

Martin Tod, Winchester City Councillor and cabinet member for economic recovery, said: “Local businesses, the theatre, the cathedral, Winchester BID and the City Council worked really hard together to bring people back to the city in the run-up to Christmas – the local buses were also running a Christmas fare promotion – and it’s good to see the results of all that hard work reflected in footfall.

“The City Council has been backing high streets across the district with its High Street Priority Plan – and it’s great to see that have an impact as well.

“There was a slowdown just before Christmas when omicron hit and New Year is often a challenging time for businesses, so the team at the council will be working hard to keep this momentum going and provide the support that businesses affected by omicron need over the coming months.”

Winchester BID also release car parking data which covers Barfield Park and Ride, Chesil Street multi-storey, Middlebrook Street, Pitt Park and Ride, South Winchester Park and Ride, St Catherines Park and Ride, The Brookes and Tower Street. The figures for December 2021 showed a 50 per cent decrease in “space hours” from November