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.

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. Watch his presentation below:


Comment as guest

Login  /  Register


No comments have been made yet.

Office Address
  • Smart Transport
    Media House
    Lynch Wood
    PE2 6EA
Join the community
  • Smart Transport is the UK's most important brand to bring together senior public policy makers and influential private sector leaders to showcase real-time solutions aligned to government policy.
  • Find out more
  • Insight


Welcome to Smart Transport

Welcome to the Smart Transport website, keeping you up-to-date with the latest news, insight and reports from policymakers and thought leaders.

The Smart Transport brand connects policy to solutions by bringing national government and local authority policymakers together with private sector organisations.

Contact Lindsay Greatbatch for more information.

© Bauer Consumer Media Ltd
Media House, Lynch Wood, Peterborough, PE2 6EA - Registered number 01176085 IPSO regulated logo


Smart Transport members

Smart Transport board members


Please note:
By submitting any material to us you are confirming that the material is your own original work or that you have permission from the copyright owner to use the material and to authorise Bauer Consumer Media to use it as described in this paragraph. You also promise that you have permission from anyone featured or
referred to in the submitted material to it being used by Bauer Consumer Media. If Bauer Consumer Media receives a claim from a copyright owner or a person
featured in any material you have sent us, we will inform that person that you have granted us permission to use the relevant material and you will be responsible for paying any amounts due to the copyright owner or featured person and/or for reimbursing Bauer Consumer Media for any losses it has suffered as a result.