Car driving has almost returned to pre-Covid-19 levels

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What does the image show?

The image shows the percentage of respondents who drove three times a week or more across the survey periods from pre-pandemic to June 2021.

Why is this important?

To meet our climate change commitments there is a need to deliver mode shift from car to public transport, walk and cycle. There are concerns that the pandemic will encourage people to return to travelling, but to do so in cars to avoid any perceived risk from public transport. There are also risks that cars which were held by households for the commute will be used for other chores on the days when they are now not being driven to work. Certainly the shape of traffic flow across the day suggests this may be happening. As workplaces open up, this will be a key metric. If car use plateaus at this level and public transport use bounces back then there may yet be a climate positive outcome. However, the data currently suggests that a more car-based recovery is a real possibility.

48% of our respondents drove a car three times a week or more. In June 2020 that reduced to 17%, in October 2020 that number increased to 34%. By June 2021, 40% of people were driving regularly.