The Coronavirus has impacted on travel across all modes, all around the world. That’s no different in Europe, where COVID-19 and various levels of government shutdowns have shown a wide range of impact to road travel. In last week’s webinar, we teamed up with the experts at umlaut to provide insight into ways INRIX data can show macro-level trends and provide micro-level insights.
Below are high-level insights shared by the INRIX team on how Trip Analytics helps public agencies and private companies navigate COVID-19. Taking a deeper dive into the United Kingdom, we can see how Vehicle Miles Traveled (VMT) has changed from the beginning of the outbreak to the present.
COVID-19 first entered the United Kingdom at the end of January when the first two patients tested positive on 31st January. Still far from becoming a nationwide threat, this, along with the World Health Organization declaration of a COVID-19 pandemic, did not influence the nation’s travel significantly.
Even with officials suspending sporting events and urging the public to shop sensibly due to panic buying, there was little change to VMT in the UK for the few days following these announcements.
However, when Prime Minister Johnson addressed the nation on 16th March, urging everyone to work from home, practice social distancing and avoid unnecessary travel such as visiting pubs and restaurants, VMT dropped to 72% of pre-COVID levels. School closures soon followed, and employers put into place policies to protect their workforce.
On the 23rd of March, PM Johnson imposed a nationwide lockdown for the UK, which resulted in VMT falling to 35% of pre-COVID level the same week.
The lockdown, along with low levels of travel, remained for seven weeks until it was officially changed on 10th of May from “stay at home” orders to “stay alert.” As a result, VMT increased to about 55% of normal the latter half of May. Non-essential shops soon re-opened, and in June VMT bounced back to about 83% of the pre-COVID level nationwide. Restaurants and cafes opened next, leading to continuing increases in VMT. Unlike many of its European neighbors, VMT in the UK is still below pre-COVID levels as it navigates the virus.
To listen to the webinar, please visit: https://inrix.com/campaigns/webinar-understanding-the-impact-of-covid-19-on-european-transportation-trends/