Park visits in East Sussex up by 103 per cent as lockdown eases

East Sussex residents have been spending 103 per cent more time in parks since lockdown was eased, figures from Google show.

Tuesday, 21st July 2020, 11:54 am

East Sussex residents have been spending 103 per cent more time in parks since lockdown was eased, figures from Google show.

Google uses location data from phones and other personal devices to track trends in people’s movement in the home, retail and recreation establishments, grocery stores and pharmacies, public transport hubs, workplaces, and parks and green spaces.

The data, from Tuesday July 7, showed more people in East Sussex were spending time in public green spaces.

Hampden Park in Eastbourne, East Sussex

Time spent in parks was 103 per cent higher than during a five-week baseline period at the start of the year, which is use to represent ‘normal’ levels of activity.

It is a big increase from the first two weeks of lockdown, when the figure stood at 60 per cent lower than the baseline (on March 29) and 27 per cent lower (on April 5).

The data also suggests more people are beginning to return to retail and recreational destinations, like shopping centres.

During the first week of lockdown, for obvious reasons time spent in these areas was low – 87 per cent lower than during the ‘normal’ period represented by the baseline figure.

Hampden Park

But by June 23, a few days after non-essential shops were permitted to welcome back customers, the data shows more people were spending time shopping – though still 43 per cent less than the baseline.

The latest figures from July 7 – three days after pubs, restaurants and other leisure facilities were allowed to reopen – show a further increase, though still 30 per cent lower than the baseline.

In other locations in East Sussex, on July 7:

• Visits to public transport hubs were 25% down on usual levels (compared to 68% down at the start of lockdown)

• Workplaces were 57% quieter than usual (compare to 57% quieter in week one of lockdown)

• Supermarkets and pharmacies saw 8% less traffic (compared to 46% less)

• People spent 13% more time at home than usual

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