Is Transport Back to Normal After the COVID Effect?

Posted on 20 July 2021 by CarTakeBack

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With life heading ‘back to normal’ we’re taking a look back over the whole COVID pandemic and whether travel methods really have changed.

Travel at the start of the pandemic

The dramatic drop in car and public transport use from the start of restrictions gave most of us a stark wake-up call to the impact of road use. Less pollution, less noise, more wildlife… it was hard not to fall in love with the quiet roads, long walks and the old bike that hadn’t been pedalled since the previous summer. However, as soon as restrictions eased, while cycling remained popular many people returned to their previous travel methods, with cars and public transport figures rising steadily throughout the summer months.

Transport use through COVID up to June 2021

Travel levels mid 2020

By the time schools and universities reopened in September you can see that car usage was at the highest it had been since the initial lockdown in March. But as restrictions were tightened across the UK and the second lockdown loomed, all travel methods decreased over autumn and into winter.

Onwards and upwards in the new year

Varying local restrictions, many people still working from home, and possibly even the inconsistent weather, seems to have kept figures for all travel methods rising and falling from the beginning of 2021, but all on the general increase. The latest results clearly show car use back to close what it was as the pandemic began, although bus and train use is yet to reach pre-pandemic levels.

Change for the future?

With so many of us vowing to use our cars less after the initial lockdown and the clear environmental and health benefits experienced by so many, it’s a pity that as a nation we’ve obviously not been able to sustain that intention. However, just over 7% of the customers that recycled their car with us recently, did so because of the alternative transport methods they used over this period. If that percentage is representative of the whole driving population, that’s a possible 2.7 million people ready to swap their traditional-fuelled car for more environmentally friendly alternatives, once they are in a position to do so. Maybe that means the impact of our travel experiences over the COVID pandemic will actually be felt for years to come…

Ditch the car on a high!

Whichever way you choose to travel from now on, and whatever your motivation, it’s worth knowing that scrap metal prices are at a high. For everyone that has changed how they travel for good and ditched their old car, they’ve been able to take advantage of the highest prices we’ve been able to pay for years. The average price of a recycled scrap car today is over double what it was this time last year. So, if you’re sitting on the fence, it may be worth hopping off (not one of our recognised and measured travel methods) and recycling your car soon!


As well as getting you a great price, CarTakeBack can help you responsibly recycle your old car or van. Find out more about how to scrap your car >

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