PlaceDashboard tracks the changes in human movement in cities across the UK during the COVID-19 lock down.

Manchester Movement Index

To help us all understand how we are staying safe, PlaceDashboard’s location insight is tracking the change in movement behaviour patterns across Manchester City Centre.

Each week PlaceDashboard is publishing a people movement index to measure the success of the stay at home government instruction. The base line for the index is Monday 23rd March 2020, with an index number of 100. We We forecast the index to significanty fall during the lockdown period and then start to increase and move above the 100 index level as the lockdown is gradually relaxed. We have calculated two distinct behaviour movement indices, ‘Total Movement’ and ‘Walking/Cycling’ which is achieved by isolating devices which are travelling between 3 and 10 miles per hour.

Manchester City Centre

23rd vs 30th March 2020 
Total people index change: Down -51%
Walking movement index change: Down -50%

23rd March vs 6th April 2020 
Total people index change: Down -49%
Walking movement index change: Down -48%

23rd March vs 13th April 2020 
Total people index change: Down -66%
Walking movement index change: Down -66%

23rd March vs 20th April 2020 
Total people index change: Down -51%
Walking movement index change: Down -49%

23rd March vs 27th April 2020 
Total people index change: Down -60%
Walking movement index change: Down -49%

The Covid 19 lockdown started on Monday 23rd March 2020. The PlaceDashboard Total People movement index for 27th April 2020 shows there are -60% less people moving around the city centre of Manchester since the lockdown commenced, this is -9% lower compared to the first week in lockdown.

The volume of walking  has contracted by -49% during the week ending 27th April, this compared to a -50% decrease during the first week of lockdown, this is +1% increase in the walking index..

Manchester Coronavirus Social Distancing Index 27th April

Pre vs Lockdown Movement Index

A movement index baseline has been established for movement behaviour in Manchester City centre using the period 1st February 2020 – 15th February 2020 (index 100).
The comparison period is for the last 2 weeks of March from the 15th March – 31st March during which the Covid 19 social distancing instructions were implemented including the instruction to work from home where possible. Four people movement behaviour indices have then been calculated for Manchester City centre in order to understand the impact on activity in the city centre.

  • ‘Total Movement Activity’ index covering car,bus, train, cycling and walking movement patterns
  • ‘Total People‘ indexing the total number of people activit in the city centre
  • Walking/Cycling Activity’ index measuring the amount of walking and cycling activity in the city centre
  • ‘Walk/Cycling People’ index tracking the change in the number of people undertaking the physical movement activity

Total Movement Activity

Total people movemet index change: Down -70.1%
Total number of peope index : Down -58.8%

Walking/Cycling Activity

Walking/Cycling movement index change: Down -35.2%
Walking/Cycling number of peope index : Down -46.1%

Manchester City Centre People Movement Heat Map

PlaceDashboard is able to measure social distancing by tracking gps location data captured from mobile phones. PlaceDashboard is able to track precise movement patters across an entire city centre and identify where the volume of movement activity has changed when two periods of time are compared against each other. The heatmaps below are calculate using the period 1st -15th March 2020 compared against the period 16th -31st March 2020.

PlaceDashboard Manchester City Centre Heatmap

The image above shows the changes in movement behaviour for the city centre of Manchester. The heatmap on the left (1st March -15th March) has significantly more columns in total and more tall coloured columns, indicating much high volumes of movement across the city centre. The heatmap on the right (16th – 31st March) has significantly fewer tall coloured columns with most of the movement activity tracking the road infrastucture and predominantly at a low level (blue columns). The centre of Manchester city centre has emptied out in line with the Coronavirus social distancing instructions.

The images below show the changes in people movement behaviour in key areas of Manchester city centre between the periods 1st -15th March and 16th – 31st March 2020.

PlaceDashboard Heatmap Manchester Convention Centre
PlaceDashboard Heatmap Corn Exchange : Print Works
PlaceDashboard Heatmap Manchester City Council Office

If you require analysis regarding the changes in people movement behaviour in your town or city centre during the Covid-19 lock down please contact us here.

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