This is the age of the car: road use close to normal as travellers shun trains

this is the age of the car road use close to normal as travellers shun trains

Britain’s roads are filling fast. In the week when England’s stay at home rule was lifted on 29 March, car use reached 78 per cent of normal levels – its highest of the year so far. 

But analysis of the latest figures from the Department for Transport (DfT) show no similar increase among rail users.

When the third lockdown began on 5 January, all forms of transport saw a slump.

Motoring has returned steadily from 51 per cent, its lowest weekly average, immediately after the stay at home was imposed.

The week commencing 29 March was the busiest on the road since before Christmas.

The average for the first seven days when it was legal to make non-essential journeys in England was six per cent ahead of the previous week.

Yet rail use continues to languish at just one-quarter of pre-pandemic levels.

Research by the Rail Delivery Group (RDG) suggests around 15 per cent of people who previously commuted by train may switch to road.

A spokesperson for the RDG said: “Getting people back on trains will benefit taxpayers, the economy and the environment, while a car-led recovery would make traffic jams worse, decimate commuter-based business centres and do untold damage to Britain’s net-zero carbon ambitions…

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