The aftermath of the Covid-19 crisis will transform the way we live, work and travel in the UK, the AA says. It predicts a permanent reduction in the demand for travel because people have learned during the crisis to use home-working technology. The implications are profound for commuters and for government finances. The Chancellor currently plans to spend £27bn to curb congestion on roads and £100bn on HS2 – but if demand falls, that may not be needed. AA President Edmund King says anecdotal evidence from people lucky enough to be working during the coronavirus-enforced lockdown suggests that infrastructure funds might be better spent on broadband to support home working. Prof Greg Marsden from Leeds University’s Transport Studies Unit said the government’s projections of traffic growth underpinning the roads programme was 1% a year – meaning 35% by 2055. He told BBC News that post-Covid-19, an actual fall in traffic was more likely. He said: “The likely drop in traffic levels post the Covid-19 crisis means that we should delay the road expansion programme and focus instead on rebuilding public transport and switching more of our vehicles to zero emissions.” He also points out that the number of peak-hour commuter journeys was already falling before the crisis, as people choose to work one or two days at home, or simply to come in after rush hour.
BBC 3rd April 2020 read more »