Mobility Data Insights for Local High Streets | Part 2

Mobility Data Insights for Local High Streets: What dwell-time can tell councils as we recover from the pandemic?

Huq’s latest report on local high streets looks at how people in these places reacted to the restrictions introduced due to Covid-19, and how this can help councils plan for the future. The full Local High Streets Report 2022 is available here.

In Part Two of our blog series on the Report we see how the dwell-time module from CommunityVision® provides key evidence as to how people used their local high streets between 2019 and 2022.

Dwell-time mobility insights indicate the time visitors spend

Dwell-time provides evidence of how long people stay on your local high street. It measures engagement with the place and can indicate that people are choosing to stay, rather than simply visiting to achieve a task and then leave.

Huq’s Report shows that as pandemic restrictions were imposed in the spring of 2020 dwell-time dropped significantly. Visits to local high streets were short and purposeful as people complied with instructions to stay at home.


The Future of Local High Streets 2022 E-Book

To explore Huq’s unique insights into pandemic trends and their impact on the future of local high streets, download the full Local High Streets Report 2022.


Then, as communities became more free to spend time outside the home, dwell-time began to increase. It remained well above January 2020 levels from the summer right through to the end of 2021. Looking deeper into these insights with CommunityVision® would allow councils to measure seasonal differences, or look more closely at what drove these high levels of engagement with local high streets.

Combining mobility data provides actionable insights

CommunityVision® has the great advantage that it allows users to visualise its mobility data insights on interactive charts and graphs. Councils can readily see and share the evidence showing how and when people use their places.

This is particularly clear when combining mobility data from different modules – for example in this case, Huq’s Report shows footfall and dwell-time for 2020 – 2022 on the same chart with instant impact:

Footfall vs dwell time index on local high streets

The period of low dwell in spring 2020 coincides with high footfall, indicating an inverse correlation between footfall and dwell during the pandemic restrictions – at times when there have been fewer visits, the quality of those visits increased. We found a similar inverse correlation between footfall and dwell-time in our Parks & Open Spaces Report.

Choosing the right mobility data insights for your location

The Local High Streets Report shows that communities did not all react in the same way to pandemic restrictions. Separating out local high streets according to their geographical location gives insights into how footfall changed in each region.

Local high street dwell time by region

As we can see, regions largely held their relative positions throughout the period. Some, such as the East Midlands and West Midlands, showed increases of up to 60% in dwell-times. Overall, dwell-time on local high streets has increased significantly during the pandemic and may reflect the strengthened relationship that residents have had with local centres. Councils can use this information to explore what drove these trends and identify how they can maintain higher dwell-times in the future.

Find out how dwell-time mobility data insights can help your local high street.

Contact us to see how the right selection of mobility data insight modules from CommunityVision® can boost your council’s decision-making. Hard evidence targeted on the community you serve – uniquely available from Huq.

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Find out how you can build better communities using mobility data to make decisions. CommunityVision®, Huq’s leading product for local government teams, offers real-time and easy-to-use insights on how people use your towns.

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