Tuesday 19 May 2020 12:56 pm

UK lockdown: Pedestrian activity soars 25 per cent as Londoners get back to work

Pedestrian activity in the capital soared 25 per cent yesterday as more Londoners got back to work following the government’s updated UK lockdown rules.

Yesterday’s surge was the first big jump in weekday numbers since the government changed its message from “stay at home” to “stay alert” earlier this month. 

Read more: Visitor numbers at UK shopping destinations dive in coronavirus lockdown

The lag in pedestrian activity suggests employers and staff needed time to ensure safe working conditions and commutes were in place.  

In the seven days to 18 May pedestrian traffic was up 7.6 per cent to 11.24 points, according to Hoxton Analytics. A reading of 100 represents normal pedestrian levels. 

Last week the government announced the easing of some lockdown restrictions in England. 

People have been told to return to work if they cannot work from home and individuals that do not live together are able to meet up outdoors at a distance of two metres. 

Non-essential shops could reopen from 1 June at the earliest, while pubs and other hospitality venues will be waiting until at least 4 July before opening their doors to the public. 

Read more: Life after lockdown: What are the new UK social distancing rules?

A report published yesterday showed that footfall at the UK’s retail destinations increased by a modest 3.3 per cent in the first week since lockdown measures were lifted.

According to retail intelligence analysts Springboard, last week’s increase was the fourth in six weeks, although it was considerably smaller than that recorded on the week of the previous bank holiday, when footfall rose 11.7 per cent.