Public to prefer cars post-Covid, says CBT

Travelling during Covid: a masked passenger boards a TransPennine Express service.

A Campaign for Better Transport survey suggests most people will choose to travel as they did before the Covid-19 pandemic, and that the number of adults working entirely from their place of work could fall from 65% to 53% - with a potential knock-on impact on commuter numbers.

In addition to the research about travel expectations, the survey also asked what would encourage passengers to use public transport more. Less crowding was rated as most important, with 30% saying it was their top priority, followed by cheaper tickets (29%), better routes (29%), more frequent (26%) and more punctual (22%) services. Simpler payment options and better real-time information were also cited as factors which might make them use public transport more often.

The CBT reports one-fifth of adults say nothing would currently encourage them to increase use of public transport – a figure which rises to 29% amongst those aged over 55. It adds that a lack of affordable ticketing options for part-time commuters could result in an increase in car use. The CBT points out that there are no flexible season tickets for part-time commuters at present.

The Rail Delivery Group described the pandemic as ‘rocket fuel’ to changing travel patterns, adding that train operators want the fares system to be ‘rewired’ so they can deliver simpler, more flexible, and better value fares.