Driving is almost back to pre-Covid-19 levels

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What does the image show?

The image shows the percentage of respondents in our survey areas who drive three times a week or more across the survey periods from pre-pandemic to June 2021. The general shape of substantial drops in June 2020 and a gradual recovery, but still to below pre-pandemic levels, is seen across all of the sites, although to slightly different degrees.

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. It is interesting to look at differences between our sites with greater rural populations such as Ayrshire, Lancashire and Aberdeen – they experienced really big drops but still remain around 10% below pre-pandemic levels. By contrast our more urban sites such as Manchester, Newcastle and London seem to be much closer to pre-pandemic levels.

Graph: Car use as a driver at least three days per week. Before lockdown N=9,362; June 2020 N=9,362; October 2020 N=6,209; June 2021 N=6,877.