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What is our data telling us?

Wednesday April, 2020

ZatPark software is used by private operators and local authorities to manage an estimated 33% of parking sites across the UK. This provides our team with access to data which can be used to demonstrate the changing behaviour of drivers across the country as the pandemic progresses.

Using raw data such as the volume of ANPR data calls across our network allows us to analyse how motorists are utilising parking facilities in an anonymous, confidential and secure way.

First, we will present the dataset in a graph, depicting confirmed new cases of COVID-19 (Purple Line), deaths from COVID-19 (Red Line) and total vehicle movements by week (Blue Line). Then we will highlight dates of important events and check against the data to see if there has been any noticeable influence on driver behaviour.

It is important to note we have depicted the volume of vehicles parked on ZatPark-supported sites as a percentage of the volumes we recorded across our network during the first week of 2020, allowing the representation of the trends against the actual number of ‘Confirmed New Cases of COVID-19’ by Week and the number of ‘Confirmed Deaths of COVID-19 by Week’ as presented here by the government.

March 2020 will be looked back upon as a month of contrast, once lockdown was imposed and the sun started to shine we stayed at home. At ZatPark we started the month seeing steadily increasing volumes of ANPR activity, peaking on Tuesday 15th March. Volumes then decreased steadily, before falling off a cliff the following week with only 30% of the network traffic of the first Tuesday of the month.

The day with the lowest volume? That would unsurprisingly be Easter Sunday where our network saw only 5% of the ANPR activity we saw on Sunday 1st March.

Across our client ANPR sites we have experienced significant reductions in network data calls, indicating over a 70% reduction in in/out reads across our network in comparison to the first week of January. We are sharing this data with the Department for Transport, alongside many other parking and transport infrastructure organisations, who are using this as part of their modeling around the impact and response to the pandemic.

It is this combined pool of data that has been used by the Daily Mail in their article Are coronavirus lockdown measures slipping cars road Sunday outbreak. The article makes the argument that lockdown measures could be slipping as more drivers took the road on Sunday 19th April than any other Sunday during the UK coronavirus outbreak, stating the figures "shot up again to just over 30 per cent" - the highest they have been on a Sunday since social distancing began.

When reviewing our data across each Sunday since the beginning of March, it is striking how Easter Sunday saw the least activity by far. The other Sundays during lockdown have so far all been consistent at 20% of pre-lockdown levels

Sunday 1st March100.00%
Sunday 8th March98.90%
Sunday 15th March92.98%
Sunday 22nd March60.56%
Sunday 29th March20.65%First Lockdown Sunday
Sunday 5th April20.14%
Sunday 13th April5.63%Easter Sunday
Sunday 19th April20.01%

We will continue to share our data with the Department for Transport whilst also analysing our data ourselves and sharing our insights.


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