Road traffic surges to 70 per cent of pre-lockdown level
Brits avoiding non-essential public transport journeys are
causing a spike in traffic levels, new figures show.
The amount of traffic on Britain’s roads in mid-June had shot up to about 70 per cent of the equivalent day in February, according to the Department for Transport (DfT).
It equates to an increase of about seven percentage points compared with early June and matches up with non-essential shops reopening.
Public transport usage continues to be incredibly low, with trains and London Underground at just eight and 14 per cent respectively of the same date in 2019. Meanwhile, bus use outside London was at 21 per cent of the figures seen in the third week of January.
The cycling boom has continued, however, with the number of people taking to two wheels at 171 per cent of the levels seen in early March.
Steve Gooding, the RAC Foundation’s director of motoring research, said: “This data shows that people are starting to travel again and are heeding official advice to use their cars and bikes rather than public transport.
“If the volume of traffic is any indicator of the state of the economy then things may be recovering faster than we might have feared, fuelled this week by the reopening of more shops.
“But it remains to be seen whether the legion of people still working from home will ever want to return to their daily commute to the office.
“Given this data is a national average the likelihood is that some places might still be relatively quiet while others could be nearly as busy as they were pre-lockdown.”
People are being urged to return to work if they cannot work from home as the restrictions imposed on UK residents on March 23 continue to be lifted.