Driving Less in 2020 - The Impact of Covid-19

Posted on 04 November 2020 by CarTakeBack

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The Coronavirus pandemic has impacted all of our lives this year in various ways. Earlier this year for World Car Free Day we looked into the impact Covid-19 restrictions had on our driving and transport use. As further lockdowns and tighter restrictions are happening across the country we take another look at how our travel habits have changed.

How lockdown impacted our transport habits

As the use of other forms of transport fell during the first UK wide lockdown, cycling increased. With quieter roads, decent weather, and the use of public transport not advised, the nation took to cycling when we needed to get around. Though as restrictions eased it seems many of us soon went back to our old ways. As cycling declined the use of other methods of transport increased, though still not to the levels we'd seen in early March. With many of us still working from home, less of us will travel in the ways that we used to.

The impact of Covid-19 on transport use in the UK

Government data shows that during lockdown, the use of cars and public transport dropped, and cycling increased. 

How lockdown impacted driving

The impact of Covid-19 on driving in the UK

As lockdown measures eased the number of cars on the roads increased. Many of us vowed to use our cars less after the lockdown in the spring, but did we keep our word? It would seem that some of us perhaps did as car use on our roads hasn't returned to pre-lockdown levels just yet. More people working from home is likely a contributing factor and with the environment a rapidly growing concern for many of us, the restrictions on travel may well have given some people the push to get rid of our cars altogether.

September saw schools and universities reopen, at which point car usage was the highest we've seen across the country since the initial lockdown in March.

You can see a downward trend into October and with tighter restrictions across the UK, including a lockdown already happening in Wales and one due in England from Thursday, our transport habits for November may return to the levels seen in April. However, with measures slightly less strict this time around, and the weather significantly cooler, we may not see as steep a decline in car and public transport use.