What impact has COVID-19 had on the UK transport industry?

For the majority of the year, COVID-19 has dominated news channels, publications and everyday conversation between individuals. The unprecedented times we’ve been experiencing have affected our working and social lives. Whether you now find yourself working from home or adapting to using face coverings whilst shopping; for now, the nation has to get used to a new normal.

One industry that has been impacted immensely is the transport sector, with airlines having to ground the majority of their fleet and the use of buses and trains at an all time low; the pandemic has changed the way we travel both in the present day and potential for years to come.

To take a detailed look at how the pandemic has changed the transport habits of people in the UK and whether owning a car is now seen as the best method of transport, LeaseCar UK surveyed 400 British drivers to find out just what the future holds when it comes to public transport.

Own transport vs public transport

It’s understandable that many commuters will feel anxious about using public transport, due to the amount of people who favour this method on a daily basis. It’s no surprise that 92% of people surveyed said they feel more comfortable using their own car to travel, rather than using public transport. The survey results did show that not everyone is nervous when it comes to using public transport, as 5% will happily use it, whilst 3% said using this method of transport is a definite no.

Will the pandemic change how people commute?

With a lot of uncertainty surrounding COVID-19 and what the future holds, how people decide to commute could go back to how it once was, or change for the foreseeable future.

When asked what the main purpose of owning a car was for, 38% of respondents said ther vehicle was mainly used for commuting, compared to 28% who said they mainly use their car for family activities. The final 23% of the vote was made up by drivers who said the main use of their vehicle is for leisure activities; but it will be interesting to see if the pandemic has an effect on these figures in the future.

Are drivers likely to take extra precautions when travelling?

We’re constantly being reminded of how we can stop the spread of COVID-19 and although the risks of it circulating in a car are slim; this hasn’t stopped drivers taking extra precautions. When asked which items drivers are likely to keep in their car from now on, it’s no surprise that hand sanitiser was the most popular answer with 87% of respondents in agreement. As well as sanitiser, 85% of drivers said they would keep a mask in the car, whilst 45% have also been using disposable gloves.

There’s no way of knowing if the transport industry will change for the long run or if it will get back to what it once was; but LeaseCar’s survey gives us an indication as to what drivers are favouring at this current time. As lockdown restrictions continue to be eased and the nation cautiously begins to feel more confident, hopefully it won’t be too long until the transport industry is back on its feet again and helping people commute on a daily basis.

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