BALLOCH is among the towns in Scotland to have seen the smallest drop in footfall since before the emergence of the Covid-19 pandemic.

New research showed that the town witnessed a one per cent drop in footfall in July 2022, compared with the same month in 2019 – putting it at the top of the list, alongside East Kilbride and Glenrothes.

The figures, prepared by Place Informatics, showed that Balloch welcomed 201,579 visitors in July this year, compared to 204189 in July 2019.

Although showing a slight decline in visitors, the figures are significantly higher than the average footfall data for town centres across the UK, which currently show a nine per cent decline compared to 2019 figures.

Covid impact

Clive Hall, CEO of Place Informatics, commented: “It's clear the impact of Covid-19 remains an influence in many of our high streets. Town centres and BIDS focus on footfall figures from 2019 as an important benchmark for the last full trading year.

“There are early signs that recovery in footfall compared to 2019 is starting to plateau for all town centres regardless of size or region. Our August report will start to show us real indicators of how the cost-of-living crisis is impacting town centre footfall and also, how many of us spent the summer holiday period visiting locations in the UK.”

The report went on to show that across the UK, May 2022 delivered the strongest recovery against 2019, but figures in July dropped again, which could be attributed in part to the extreme heatwave in the third week of the month, train strikes and potentially the impact of the cost-of-living crisis.

Place Informatics uses mobility location data to calculate visitor behaviour patterns for more than 2,300 town centres across the UK and all 260 Business Improvement District town centres.

The full report is available at the Place Informatics website.