Life in Hartlepool edging back to pre-pandemic normality

Everyday life in Hartlepool inched nearer to normality during the summer, new data suggests.

Thursday, 7th October 2021, 11:48 am
Inching back to normality

Despite coronavirus restrictions being lifted on July 19, the number of shoppers, public transport users and people returning to workplaces all remained below the levels seen before the crisis.

Google location data from phones and other personal devices which track trends in people's movement during their daily lives, shows average activity in Hartlepool was 13% below normal levels between July and September – though data was unavailable for parks and public places.

This was up from summer 2020, when footfall was 19% below the baseline.

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The data for July to September in Hartlepool shows:

*Retail and recreation activity was 12% below normal levels.

*Footfall in supermarkets and grocery stores was one per cent down.

*Activity was 20% below pre-pandemic levels in workplaces.

*Public transport use was 19% down.

The British Retail Consortium said its figures show footfall in high streets, retail parks and shopping centres rose from July to August, but was still below normal.

Kyle Monk, director of insights at the BRC, said: “While it is doubtless that the reduction in restrictions and rise in vaccinations have greatly helped footfall regain ground since last year, it remains well below pre-pandemic levels."

He added retailers are hoping for a further Christmas boost, but that this would "almost certainly fail to materialise" if new Covid restrictions are introduced.

Paul Martin, UK head of retail at accounting company KPMG, said: "Following a period of extensive lockdown, there was certainly pent-up demand from consumers to get out and into stores to enjoy the physical shopping experience they had missed.