Windsor town manager discusses economic impact on footfall figures

Windsor town manager Paul Roach spoke of footfall figures and the impact of current inflationary costs and the cost-of-living crisis at Windsor Town Forum on Wednesday, July 13.

Mr Roach said that footfall has been ‘positive in the general sense’ in the last quarter, however the team are starting to see what they believe to be cost of living and inflationary costs starting to have an impact.

Footfall figures for Peascod Street reveal that figures are up by 0.3 per cent compared to 2019.

Figures also reveal that the number of visitors for the year to date is 3.38million, which is up 47.1 per cent on the previous year.

The busiest day of June was the Thursday of the Platinum Jubilee bank holiday weekend, which saw 41,422 visitors.

Mr Roach added that this is probably the busiest time the town has had since 2018.

He said: “There’s been a lot of positive footfall, but we’re starting to see that slightly starting to reduce but on the whole it’s been very positive.”

Discussing car and coach parking, Mr Roach revealed that for the month of May figures were up by 20 per cent on last year, but slightly down by four percent on 2019.

He added that most of the statistics are for cars as opposed to coaches, with figures for coach parking still 80 to 90 per cent down compared to 2019.

Mr Roach added: “We’re not expecting that to come back anytime soon.

“Particularly at weekends, we’re seeing a lot of our car parks still operating at full capacity, so clearly there is demand there and reflects the buoyancy there is in the town centre.”

Discussing vacancy rates Mr Roach explained that Windsor town centre was still below the national average with 13.7 per cent to 14.1 per cent.

He added: “‘We are expecting in the next four to five weeks, a number of new stores to come online.”

Mr Roach said that these were currently more restaurants than retail.

“So, whilst that 13.7 per cent is quite high or has gone up, we expect that to come back down,” he said

“I suspect by the middle of August, we’ll see that come back down, possibly back down to 10 per cent which is what we were reporting certainly in April and March this year.

“All things being equal if we don’t see more people leave then the outlook is going to be very positive in terms of how the town will look in the summer months.”

Mr Roach explained that the rates for Eton, Dedworth and Clewer have remained ‘fairly stable’ and haven’t moved much.

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