Minister appeals to public

20% rise in car traffic since lockdown imposed


More people are taking local trips (pic: Terry Murden)

More people are taking to the roads in defiance of the lockdown guidelines, with car traffic up 20% since the restrictions were imposed on 23 March.

Travel has increased from a lockdown baseline average of 0.9 trips to 1.2 trips per person per day.

Overwhelmingly, people are still continuing to adhere to ‘lockdown’ guidance, said Transport Secretary Michael Matheson.

However, car traffic levels do show an increase of 20% compared to the start of lockdown, though trip distance information suggests the increase is predominantly accounted for by local trips.

Walking and cycling continues to be typically higher compared to the start of lockdown with more day to day variation reflected over the past week which likely reflects more variable weather conditions compared to recent weeks.

Public transport use remains low. There has though been a further increase of 2% observed in concessionary bus travel by those aged 70+ over this week, when compared to last week.

Overall, travel by this age group is now around 20% higher (the equivalent of 2,100 extra journeys per day) compared to the lockdown baseline.

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Public attitude data indicates the majority of people are still following physical distancing guidance; with the reduction in services having an impact to varying extents on those using public transport.

There is also an increase in the number of people stating they will avoid using public transport and use their car/other vehicle more than before.

Mr Matheson said: “I would like to thank and pay tribute to the clear overwhelming majority of people who are continuing to follow Government guidance and limit travel to only essential journeys. This is a vital effort as we collectively continue to help protect the NHS and save lives.

“This week’s transport trend data shows some further upward movements in car traffic and concessionary travel since the lockdown began.

“Given these trends and ahead of a bank holiday weekend, we have to be absolutely clear, it is still as important as ever to only leave the house for essential journeys.”

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