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Fewer People Use UK Online

eGov monitor Weekly

10 March 2003

Public usage of the UK Online citizen portal has dropped by a third since Ministers announced their new strategy to increase the take-up of online services, it has emerged.

Figures released by the Government last week show that monthly numbers of individuals visiting the flagship portal have fallen to just under 350,000 after reaching a peak of more than half a million in November 2002.

At the same time, the total number of pages accessed by visitors to UK Online has fallen from 3.5 million to 2.1m per month. The current levels are actually lower than those in February 2002, when the site had only a third as many visitors, indicating that users are now viewing significantly fewer pages of information than a year ago.

The recent decline contrasts sharply with the massive ten-fold growth in website traffic to the site up to November last year, when the Government announced at the e-Summit that greater priority would be given to maximising take-up of online government services.

A spokesperson for the Cabinet Office said the online publication of the Government's keenly-awaited dossier on Iraq's military capability at the end of September was also a possible explanation for the surge in the portal's popularity. Fluctuations in web traffic to the site were to be expected, the spokesperson said.

It is the first time that website traffic statistics have been released for the UK Online portal, with future data being made available on a monthly basis on the e-Envoy's website.

View the website traffic figures

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