Saturday, January 21, 2012

Who spends more

I have heard about the research on several occasions, but now I know where the report is. The report I am referring to is the Transport for London research into the spending habits of people visiting the London town centres to buy something. The big spenders every month in London town centres are those that walk to the shops, followed by those on public transport. Although people driving to the shops spend more per visit (41 pounds for car drivers versus 26 pounds for walkers), people who walk to the shops visit more often and therefore spend more.

The research should not be misconstrued though. It does not show that people who drive to the shops spend less per month. 78% of car drivers do more shopping outside town centres in shopping centres and so their total monthly retail spend may well be higher.

The results are also skewed by the fact that people within the walking catchment of a town centre are more likely to do all of their shopping within the town centre. Only 60% of people walking to the town centres visit the shopping centres. People further from the town centre would therefore be more likely to only make trips to the town centre on fewer occasions to buy things they cannot buy elsewhere.

What the research does however emphasise is the importance of all modes for access to shops in town centres. I would be interested to see similar research for shopping centres.

The research also looked at peoples attitudes to cycling to town centres for utility trips (i.e. not commuter cyclists). 38% of respondents said that with some interventions, they be encouraged to cycle to the town centre. The main interventions needed were found to be:
  • less road traffic - 15%
  • more dedicated cycle paths - 15%
  • more cycle lanes - 14%

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