Working in partnership with London TravelWatch

Travel drops as lockdown hits

15 January 2021

How are people feeling about travelling during lockdown?

Transport Focus has been speaking to people making essential journeys and non-users. We wanted to understand their attitudes to travel and the impact of the current restrictions.

In the latest survey of 2000 people, there has been a fall in public transport use. 11 per cent have used public transport in the last two weeks. Eight per cent have used a bus and three per cent have used a train.

There has also been a marked decrease in the proportion of those making journeys to visit friends and relatives and making journeys for leisure reasons. 19 per cent and six per cent respectively made these types of journeys in the last two weeks. This compares with 25 per cent and 23 per cent respectively at the last wave of the research.

Among those who have not used public transport there has been an increase in people who say that they don’t feel safe to do so at the moment. 27 per cent say that they have been avoiding public transport (up from 23 per cent), and 30 per cent say that they don’t feel safe using public transport at the moment (up from 26 per cent).

Similarly, among those who have not used a train or a bus in the last two weeks there has been a marked decrease in the proportion who say that they would feel safe doing so at the moment. 33 per cent say that they would feel safe on a train compared with 45 per cent in the last survey. On bus 28 per cent say that they would feel safe making a journey compared with 37 per cent previously. These findings are likely to reflect wider anxieties about the prevalence of Covid-19.

74 per cent of passengers are satisfied with their journey and 74 per cent are satisfied with their ability to keep a safe distance from others. 71 per cent of London Underground passengers are satisfied with their journey overall and 61 per cent are satisfied with the behaviour of other passengers.

77 per cent of buses passengers (outside London) are satisfied with their journey and 72 per cent are satisfied with the behaviour of other passengers.
74 per cent of people using London buses are satisfied with their journey.

With rail and bus services set to reduce to reflect lower demand the watchdog is calling for timetables to still meet the needs of those who have to travel. First and last services of the day must be maintained for key workers who rely on these services. Operators must also provide enough capacity for those who are travelling to properly social distance.

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