Just how busy is Piccadilly Circus?

Just how busy is Piccadilly Circus?
April 16, 2017 rachel

Just how busy is Piccadilly Circus?

The challenge

London’s Piccadilly Circus is famous for being one of the world’s busiest interchanges. We were commissioned by MT2 to discover more about its visitors.


  • To estimate the total number of people passing through Piccadilly Circus in one week
  • To count the number of pedestrians and those travelling in vehicles, noting what sort of vehicle – cars, taxis, buses and coaches, vans and heavy goods vehicles or two wheeled vehicles
  • To identify the demographic profile, of a sample of those passing through Piccadilly Circus. This included the reason for their visit.

Our approach

Our fieldworkers counted the number of pedestrians and vehicles leaving Piccadilly Circus at defined times throughout the week. A supervisor ensured we avoided double-counting and set strict time periods for the various tasks.

We interviewed 1,643 adult pedestrians about their postcode or home country and their reason for being in Piccadilly Circus. We also noted the size and composition of any group they were in, their age range and gender.

Using complex methodology, we were able to extrapolate an estimated figure from only a week’s data.


Our calculations estimated 2 million people left Piccadilly Circus over a week. This was a significant increase from the 1.12 million people surveyed eight years’ previously.

We broke down our results into pedestrians, vehicle type, by time of day and day of the week, where they lived and which departure point was used, such as Underground entrances. Our comprehensive report also included why people were visiting, varying from shopping trips to studying.

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