In a matter of weeks the Covid-19 pandemic has effectively reshaped the UK’s transportation network, and indeed transport networks around the world. What are the transport investment priorities as we look beyond lock down?
Whilst the number of road traffic, public transport and aviation journeys are all likely to increase as lock-down measures are eased, it seems that our appetite for travel is unlikely to return to pre-pandemic levels any time soon, if at all.
In a survey published on May 22nd 2020 by the Institute of Civil Engineers, almost fifty per cent of respondents said that they would avoid public transport systems, trains and aeroplanes after travel restrictions are lifted. Research published in April by UK transport consultancy Systra also pointed to a long-term impact, with more than 20 per cent of respondents to a survey on the topic saying they will make fewer trips on public transport once lock-down is over.
The knock-on effects of this reduced appetite for travel are likely to be hard-hitting, as seen already at Rolls-Royce where 9,000 staff will be shed from the company’s civil aerospace division. The company cannot make or service products that aren’t in demand and a prediction from Boeing suggests that Revenue Passenger Kilometres for 2020 will halve compared to 2019. According to trade body ADS, only 20 aircraft deliveries took place in April, and the overall aircraft order backlog fell below 14,000 due to cancellations.
Your comments on personal transport in a post-Covid-19 world are welcome but we ask readers to familiarise themselves with our Comment Guidelines.