Smart Transport

UK public transport volume recovery still struggling due to Covid-19

London Bus

Public transport passenger volumes are still struggling due to Covid-19, according to the latest traffic figures released by the Department for Transport.

The DfT data shows that national trains were carrying just 25% of the passengers they would have expected on Monday (August 10). London underground performed marginally better at 28%, while London buses were carrying around half (53%) of their normal passenger numbers.

National bus usage is worse still, with the DfT data showing it stood at 39% of where it should be expected on Monday.

Meanwhile, van and truck traffic has returned to pre-lockdown levels and car traffic is just behind at 90% compared with pre-lockdown levels.

Many passengers have been put off using public transport after the Government asked the majority to stay away during lockdown.

Nearly half of UK public transport users (48%) said they would be less likely to use it once lockdown restrictions have been lifted, according to research by Auto Trader in April this year.

'Transport distancing’, which describes how UK adults would rather be in their own personal car than risk infection or transmission of COVID-19 by using public transport, was even more of a concern for younger consumers, with 66% of 18-24-year-olds claiming they’d be less likely to use it.   

RAC Breakdown estimates that drivers are planning on making some 45 million day trips in August.

Half of the drivers it questioned (49%) will be packing up the car for a day at the seaside, tourist spot or attraction before the end of the month.

And, more than a quarter (28%) say they will be taking more outings than last year – perhaps indicating the extent of the Covid-19 staycation.

RAC Breakdown spokesman Simon Williams said: “Our research shows that August is set to be a massive month for day trips as families look to try to make the most of what’s left of the school holidays and pack in some family fun now the lockdown has been eased.”

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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