Andover residents have got used to home working, a study suggests, as new research indicates most commuters have put down their briefcases for now.

Research from Huq Industries, a firm which researches footfall across the country, said its data found that just 14 per cent of Andoverians working in London have begun commuting again, making it the commuter town with the fewest residents returning to work in the capital.

As a result, former commuters have instead been returning to local shops and destinations, with visits to local retailers and outlets at 46 per cent of pre-Covid levels, versus a 31 per cent average across the commuter belt.

Conrad Poulson, CEO of Huq Industries, said: “With so many firms moving to virtual and hybrid working models, it may take months for commuter trips from the home counties to London to reach anything close to pre-pandemic levels – or more likely, it may never get back there at all.

“Instead, a new pattern is emerging. It seems the displacement of affluent home counties commuters from Central London to their home offices is having a positive impact on local communities. The significance of this trend is far-reaching. It affects the way in which large cities like London are used - from retail and hospitality, to transport and real-estate.

“If even only some of these new behaviours take hold there will be large scale changes in how these cities operate and evolve.”

The data was taken from a seven day average of 10,000 residents of commuter towns within 60 miles of London from June 21 to June 28, relative to pre-pandemic averages. Andover saw the fewest commuters return, at 13.9 per cent, while Hampshire towns Farnborough and Basingstoke also feature in the top ten, at 17.6 and 22.2 per cent respectively.

The data was gathered using real-time population mobility data comprised of over one billion 1bn+ mobile geolocation datapoints.