BUSTLING Bognor Regis town centre is attracting a weekly footfall count of more than 100,000.
The figure of shoppers is being compiled for the first time by the town centre manager, Toyubur Rahman.
They show the busiest week saw the footfall count peak at 117,047. But two other weeks were almost as busy. The totals are taking business and individuals by surprise but Mr Rahman said they showed the town’s retailing area was getting busier.
“People are surprised by how many shoppers are coming into the town centre,” he said. “I don’t know what the figures were before but I expect these to be a marked improvement.
“There’s been a step change from what I knew 18 months ago when I arrived. The level of negativity that was there and the scepticism has gone down a lot.
“The town centre is certainly going in the right direction. There’s no doubt about that – 2015 was a big year for the town. It’s been full-on, certainly.”
Mr Rahman was appointed in May, 2014, in a four-year joint initiative by a series of backers like Arun District Council, the University of Chichester and Butlin’s.
He had the footfall monitor installed last May and the first independent weekly figures arrived a month later.
A camera on top of the lamppost outside Thomas Cook in the London Road precinct projects a beam in a triangle across the precinct’s width at torso height. It records north and south movements. Mr Rahman combines them.
The busiest week matched the Hotham Park Country Fair in early August. Next with a 111,031 count was the Aerial Birdman at the end of that month followed by 108,282 for the pier’s Birdmen in mid-July.
Even winter, though, shows the precinct is still popular. The latest figures for the Christmas market this month and what should have been the Christmas lights switch-on were about 90,000 each.