UK mobility continues to show small but steady increases (we 4th December 2020)

11th December

Last week (week ending 4th December) mobility increased a further 1 percentage point to 68 mobility, according to data from our mobile partner Three, versus the pre lockdown baseline of 100.

Mobility in England (where a national lockdown was in place until the 1st December) increased by +1.8 to 70, with a similar increase of +0.6 in Scotland (where a five-level system is operational) to achieve 76.7 mobility.  Whilst mobility in Wales remained low at 48.9 (as strict regulations were still encouraged following the end of the firebreak lockdown).

The chart below shows the weekly mobility index from March to date, showcasing the effect of the

relaxing restrictions, and also how this compares to mobility during the first lockdown in March.

Mobility levels at a regional level have seen uniform minor increases, with average mobility increases of around 1.34 in all regions.

London saw an increase of 1.6 points to deliver 59.3 mobility, with the most significant changes in Bromley (+1.2%), Croydon (+1.18%) and Kingston Upon Thames (+1.03%). Outer London locations reported mobility levels of 70, and remain consistently higher than the national average, while Inner London locations stand at 50 mobility.

Our data from Three gives us the most robust UK coverage, with access to over 13 million subscribers, giving us a clear view of the National picture on a weekly basis. Google Mobility data enables us to complement the overall picture by identifying category visitation between 1st December (during lockdown 2 in England) and 2nd December (when lockdown 2 officially ended).  This showed an explosive increase of +12 mobility in retail and recreation locations, to 74 Mobility, alongside increases in Transit and Workplace mobility of +2 and +4 respectively.

Separately, Clear Channel’s Audience Hub, powered by the huge dataset behind Clear Channel RADAR®, closely monitors mobile data to provide granular insights of changing movement and behaviours, as well as further insight on attitudes and mindsets.  Current audience levels in proximity to significant points of interest (for the period 29/11 – 05/12) show residential* at 88%, parks* at 84% and malls* at 63%, whilst retail parks** stand at 85% , local high streets at 81%, secondary city and major town centres at 68% ,and major city centres at 48%. *Based on Clear Channel panel information **Based on CACI retail catchment areas.

As the country returns to ‘tier system’ restrictions we have adapted our reporting to identify the mobility levels across the different Tiers.

Tier 1 (MEDIUM) – containing Cornwall and Isle of Wight, Tier 1 sees mobility levels of 83.8, a marginal 0.4 increase week-on-week.

Tier 2 (HIGH) – spanning most of the population, including London, Southampton, York and Milton Keynes. Tier 2 regions saw a small increase to 62.7, this figure includes central London boroughs that have an average mobility of 50. This has the effect of reducing the overall average Tier 2 mobility levels. Excluding Inner London locations Tier 2 regions are at mobility levels of 70. The greatest mobility increases come from West Berkshire, Hounslow, and Southampton with increases of +1.4, +1.16, +1 respectively.

Tier 3 (VERY HIGH) – including Birmingham, Manchester, Leicester, and Leeds. Tier 3 regions have seen a marginal increase to mobility levels of 73.1 with the major increases coming from Manchester (+2.27), Sunderland (+1.72) and Darlington (+1.02).

As the first vaccines are administered across NHS staff and high-risk individuals, the FTSE 250 jumps 83 points, matching February levels, as confidence in a brighter future grows.  As we look ahead to next week’s report, the first full week of post-lockdown mobility, we anticipate seeing mobility levels growing as consumers prepare for Christmas.