Saturday, May 28, 2022

    How has COVID impacted UK’s roads?

    How has COVID impacted UK roads? The car gurus at ATS Euromaster recently ran a report looking at that very question, with two “normal” years (2008 and 2018) pitted against pandemic-ravaged 2020.

    There’s plenty to dig into, and we’ve decided to drill into three areas of the report in particular:

    Let’s get cracking.

    Bicycles are in vogue – and weekends are an especially popular time

    Footfall has tanked on public transport and gone towards two-wheeled travel instead.

    Bicycle traffic has been higher than normal from March-September, and is predicted to increase. If nothing else, you’d think the pandemic has done wonders for retailers in this sector.

    Let’s look closer:

    Bank Holiday traffic is way down

    Bank Holidays are an interesting litmus test because, barring New Year’s Day, they’ve all fallen within the lockdown period. And one thing is abundantly clear: they haven’t been the same in the UK this year.

    Let’s look at vehicular traffic during Bank Holidays.

    Vans are holding steady

    Vans have been a fixture of UK roads throughout lockdown.

    • Though numbers dropped the day after the Prime Minister announced the nationwide lockdown, they’ve since been climbing – up to 50% of normal levels in early May and close to 100% by the end of June.
    • In fact, as of September, there are more weekend vans in circulation than you might find in other years. This suggests a renewed appetite for online deliveries that arrive when people are home on Saturday and Sunday. Good news for Amazon and co, no doubt, though perhaps a worrying statistic for the flagging high street.

    Check out the ATS Euromaster report for more. You’ll find plenty to digest, including what our roads looked like in “normal” times (2008 and 2018) and even some useful things to keep in mind should you wish to beat rush hour.

    In the end, while public transport numbers remain low, car traffic is getting back to normal. Meanwhile, cycling has never been more popular and given that getting fit is one form of protection against COVID-19, this can only be a good thing.

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