Traffic chiefs and experts predict a decline in traffic and train use as a result of the coronavirus epidemic, making homework a permanent reality for many employees.
AA President Edmund King said demand for travel, road or train, will be reduced as the majority of businesses have seen that it is possible to work from home and that employees are getting used to the job at home and its associated technology.
King suggested the government better spend more money on broadband instead of strengthening infrastructure funds.
His comments come as figures from the Traffic Department showed that there has been a sharp increase in traffic on the roads since the start of the week, despite rules requiring the public to stay at home as much as possible.
Photographs show heavy traffic on a main road in Wapping, east London, on Wednesday heading for the capital at rush hour despite the UK lockout
According to data from TomTom, around 20% of London’s roads were congested on average Monday through Friday last week, compared to 40% normally.
He told BBC News: “… what this current crisis has shown is that the majority of businesses can continue to work from home, and it can be more effective. “
King added that moving forward, commuters and businesses would no longer see traveling up and down on a highway as efficient but as expensive and not good for the environment.
Currently, Chancellor Rishi Sunak plans to spend £ 27 billion on congestion on the roads and £ 100 billion on HS2 – but if demand falls as expected, the spending plan could be fundamentally changed.
AA President Edmund King (photo) said demand for road and rail travel will be reduced as the majority of businesses have seen that it is possible to work from home and that employees used to work from home and related technology
At the daily coronavirus press conference on April 1, Yvonne Doyle, director of health protection at Public Health England, said: “(This) is a slightly worrying trend as we have seen an increase in car traffic
While Professor Greg Marsden of the Transport Studies Unit at the University of Leeds also weighed in on the idea that traffic would drop in the aftermath of the coronavirus crisis.
According to Marsden’s research, the number of daily rush hour trips was already decreasing before the crisis, as more people chose to work one or two days at home or started working later in the day.
Professor Marsden told the BBC that instead of investing in costly highway expansion programs, the government should “focus on rebuilding public transportation and moving more of our vehicles to zero emissions” .
New York has seen a similar reduction in congestion to around 5% in the past week
Congestion levels in Madrid are also down by a figure similar to that of Paris, now at around 5%
The congestion level in Paris fell to around 5%, compared to a normal average of 40%
The forecast for the future of transport came out only days after the Traffic Department said there had been a sharp increase in traffic since the beginning of this week, despite rules requiring the public to stay at home as much as possible.
It is not clear what is behind the increase, but there have been signs of heavy traffic in some cities such as London, despite calls to stay at home.
At the daily coronavirus press conference on April 1, Yvonne Doyle, director of health protection at Public Health England, said: “(This) is a slightly worrying trend as we have seen an increase in car traffic.
“The message here is really that people have to stay at home, and most are doing the right thing, as you can see from the rapid decline in the use of public transportation.
The road safety analysis group found that traffic on routes A in the south-east of England had decreased by 56% at the end of last week compared to the previous week. But he also found that average speeds have increased by at least 10% in the past two weeks.
London has higher traffic levels than the other major European capitals – which indicates that motorists still make unnecessary trips despite the coronavirus lockout.
Drivers in the British capital do not leave the roads as quickly as their counterparts in other European capitals – and traffic levels are higher than in New York, according to figures.
The analysis found that 20% of London’s roads were congested on average Monday through Friday last week, down from the usual figure of 40%.
The number of vehicles on the roads of the capital and across Britain has dropped sharply last month, with people following government directives to stop non-essential travel.
Boris Johnson begged motorists to stay home unless it is “absolutely necessary” for them to get out
The reduction reflects advice to work from home and the closure of schools, pubs, restaurants, theaters, gymnasiums and most stores in the past two weeks.
But traffic in London hasn’t dropped as quickly as in Paris, New York and Madrid, where congestion fell from 40% to around 5% last week.
In early March, the Department of Transport revealed that motorists were experiencing average delays of 10 seconds per kilometer on England’s main highways and roads in 2019.
This is a 1% increase from 2018, indicating that congestion on the strategic road network – managed by state-owned Highways England – is worsening amid record traffic.
The data suggests that driving on a 10-mile section of road with a 60 mph limit generally took 11 minutes and 35 seconds last year, compared to 10 minutes in free traffic conditions.
DfT figures show that 67% of the extra time was required to complete the trips in 2019 due to delays.
Delays on local A roads in 2019 generally lasted 44 seconds per mile, up 2% year-over-year.
The Australian Road Research Board makes similar predictions globally about reducing the use of different modes of transportation:
“The discontinuation of COVID-19 offers a crucial opportunity for Victoria to understand and address her transportation problems before life returns to normal,” said Michael Caltabiano, CEO of ARRB.
“We must take this opportunity to re-imagine now what a return to work after COVID-19 should look like.”
To avoid a scenario where Victorians would get into their cars and spend hours on congested roads, Caltabiano suggested implementing homework one or two days a week.
“Can we re-imagine the work that people do? he said.
“It is also now possible to better understand the choices people make.”