Smart Transport

Majority expect permanent travel changes due to Covid-19

Nearly two thirds of (65%) respondents to an Alphabet GB study said they expect their travel patterns to be permanently changed as a result of Covid-19. 

With mass migration to working from home, in March, road traffic travel dropped to levels not seen since 1955 and journeys on the London Underground fell by 95%.

Today, only 6% of those travelling to work by train feel comfortable, dropping to just 4% for tube users. 

Use of more active modes of transport like cycling and walking have more than doubled to 20% and 10% respectively.

A quarter of 18-44-year olds expect to retain the new modes of travel they used during lockdown, and only one in three expects a return to normal travel patterns.

Nearly a quarter (24%) of consumers said an EV or plug-in hybrid vehicle (PHEV) would be their next choice and 40% would strongly consider one.

This is a substantial increase from the 19% of people considering EVs at the end of 2019.

People also want to see businesses supporting the shift to EVs and are prepared to pay for it.

Over half (55%) of respondents felt delivery vans should be electric, while one in three said they would be happy to pay extra for an electric delivery vehicle. Fleets that make the shift early have the opportunity to benefit significantly in terms of brand perception and preference.

Alphabet’s research showed 37% of consumers would also now consider using a company car following the pandemic, to enable them to travel safely, whereas prior to lockdown many employees favoured a cash benefit.

Nick Brownrigg, Alphabet GB chief executive, said: “The pandemic has had a huge impact on people and businesses, fundamentally changing how we move around and use our cities.

"While we can’t be sure of the long-term impact, it’s clear a lot of these changes are here to stay, and for fleet managers flexibility becomes ever more important.

"People are adopting new habits and behaviours so it’s key that digitalisation and sustainability are central to any fleet strategy.

"Now is the time for all of us to invest and meet the changing needs of employees and customers, so we can ensure everyone feels safe and confident when travelling to work."

Read the full 'Fleet Streets: Accelerating changes to travel and transport in the UK' here.

Watch now: Connecting Policy To Solutions Virtual Conference 2021

Smart Transport Conference returned on June 8th & 9th, to facilitate pivotal discussions on the future of transport. 

The UK’s most senior public and private sector transport leaders discussed the impact of Covid-19, achieving the Government’s decarbonisation ambitions, the need for more efficient living and better health, and much more.

Keynote speakers included: 

Kwasi Kwarteng, secretary of state at the Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy (BEIS), who spoke on BEIS's approach to decarbonising transport, particularly the electrification of the vehicle industry

Keith Williams, co-author of the Williams-Shapps Plan for Rail, who spoke on rail’s role in integrated transport, decarbonisation and innovation.

Rachel Maclean, parliamentary under-secretary of state at the Department for Transport, who discussed the future of transport and its pivotal role in a ‘green recovery’ from the pandemic.

 

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