Driving up 23% year on year

[6th August]

Throughout the summer, driving activity has been increasing weekly, albeit at a slightly slower rate than we saw earlier in the year. Average driving in NI using Apple data, for the week ending 3rd August was 63% higher than that seen in February 2020, and 23% higher than the same period in 2020; where restrictions were at a similar level. Walking in NI is much higher than we’ve seen before, at 119% above baseline – also up around 20% YoY.

Public transit use in Northern Ireland has also exceeded the baseline in the summer months, for the first time since March 2020. An increase of 25% from the norm demonstrates the higher levels of passenger numbers across the entire public transport network. Within Belfast, we see similar trends.

Google continues to provide movement information in retail environments, currently showing little change through the summer months. Retail and recreation locations see average footfall of 91%. The Centre for Cities data from late June suggests a slightly stronger rebound in Belfast city centre, with daytime footfall on Saturday’s around 10% higher than the baseline.

Grocery and pharmacy locations remain 10% above the baseline, while the average flow through workplace environments is also steady, at 70%. Unsurprisingly given the recent good weather, footfall through parks remains high, at 125%.