07:29PM, Thursday 16 September 2021
Slough has been ranked as one of the ‘slowest’ towns to return to pre-pandemic levels of footfall.
Centre for Cities published the latest data on its High Streets Recovery Tracker up until the end of August, with footfall in Slough increasing by three percentage points during the month.
That ranked the town in joint-third on the list of lowest increases ahead of only Portsmouth and Mansfield.
Slough’s overall index, which measures the overall score to recovery, peaked at 68 on August 27, the highest figure since May 28, with the trend appearing to be on a gradual increase following July’s reopening.
A score of 100 for a town means footfall is at the exact pre-pandemic level.
The slow recovery could be blamed on a reduction of people visiting the town from other areas which has fallen by eight percentage points compared to before the first lockdown in March 2020.
Meanwhile in Windsor, data from the Royal Borough shows that footfall is continuing to increase at a faster rate although it is still down on pre-pandemic levels.
Footfall in the town centre is down 20.5 percent year on year compared to 2019, although this is higher than the High Street Index which is 35 percent lower than pre-COVID figures.
At a Windsor Town Forum meeting earlier this month, town manager Paul Roach said: “The general sentiment in the town has been quite positive. Footfall is on the increase; whilst it compares quite positively to last year,  was COVID year, so we are comparing it realistically with 2019.
“We’re still a little bit below 2019, although it is going in a positive direction as are car parking and coach parking figures, although they’re quite significantly lower as we’re not likely to see the numbers from international visitors until next year.”
New images have been released showing how Slough High Street could look if the redevelopment of the Queensmere Shopping Centre goes ahead.