A ‘pinch of salt’ after shop survey

A SHOPPERS survey of Bury St Edmunds which found lower than average footfall in the town, is flawed St Edmundsbury Borough Council has said.

The survey, commissioned by Bid4Bury, found that the town had a footfall of 292 people on a market day, against the average for a larger town of 462, and 117 people on a non-market day against an average of 318.

It also found that the town’s car parks were nearly half empty on most days and more than a quarter of spaces were still available on market days.

Despite this, 82 per cent of people who visited rated the shop variety as good. Nearly a third of visitors came from more than a 30-minute drive away and 86 per cent rated the town’s cleanliness and appearance.

Councillors questioned the footfall and car parking figures at Monday’s Bury area working party.

Economic development manager Andrea Mayley said: “I think I would take a pinch of salt with a lot of this.”

She said the survey company did not have a lot of comparable data for larger market towns with a population of 30,000 or more such as Bury and added that she believed the way some of the questions were phrased was also flawed.