UK Mobility Holds Steady at Nearly 80%

30th September

UK mobility remains consistent at 78.3% (w/e 25th September versus the previous week), according to data from our mobile partner Three, versus the pre lockdown baseline of 100.

The chart below shows the weekly index vs. the 4-weekly moving average; after successive month-on-month growth from May to date the 4-week moving average has settled at around 78%.  Interestingly the ‘Rule of Six’ and the other new rules have had no impact on overall mobility to date.

The areas in the UK that are currently experiencing lock down restrictions have also reached a plateau hovering around 72% mobility. Bury, Blackburn, Burnley and Oldham have all seen a marginal increase however, conversely Wigan, Stockport and Rochdale mobility all saw a marginal decrease.

Mobility levels have also remained consistent at a regional level, with lockdowns in the North of England and Central Scotland resulting in 0% change across the past 4 weeks. This leaves Wales, Midlands, and the North all steady around the 80% mobility mark, while the South West and Border hold fast at just below 90% mobility.

While Mobility growth is regionally flat, Locomizer data shows us a “Polo mint” shaped mobility pattern across high streets in major cities; with city centres typically recovering at a slower pace whilst the high streets outside the city centre are enjoying a resurgence as populations re-discover their local neighbourhoods for work, to shop and socialise.

We know from recent research commissioned by Posterscope, and conducted by Dipsticks, that there is a new-found appreciation for the local high street, with 61% agreeing that lockdown made them realise its importance. The research also showed that “in the locations I currently go to e.g. supermarkets, I’m more aware of outdoor advertising”.

Interestingly, malls have also seen a resurgence, w/e 30th August saw audiences reach 94% of pre-Covid levels driven by back-to-school shoppers, whilst according to Shopping Centre Footfall and Google Mobility Data, early September saw audiences reach 80% (w/c 7th September versus previous year).

London remains steady at 65% mobility levels, with only minor changes in mobility across individual London boroughs. The largest increases are in Enfield, Greenwich and Redbridge, all increasing by around 0.25%. Most of the mobility growth in London comes from the outer London boroughs, with the average mobility level now sitting at 76% (compared to inner London at 59%) due to office workers remaining working from  home and less cars travelling into London’s city centre.

According to ONS (25th September) the upward trend in the proportion of working adults that report travelling to work at least some of the time continues this week. Over 6 in 10 (64%) working adults travelled to work (either exclusively or in combination with working from home) in the past seven days, compared with 62% last week, the main change coming from those who had exclusively travelled to work. A similar proportion had worked exclusively at home this week – 21% compared with 20% last week.  (NB Responses to the survey were collected before the change in government guidance on working from home was announced on 22 September 2020).

From an OOH perspective, there are now almost 1.8 billion fortnightly impacts available in the market after steady month on month increases. Many more million impacts have come back to the OOH market in other environments too according to our data, providing a great opportunity to reach different audiences across the UK.