A third of Brits will consider buying a new or used car to get to work after the coronavirus lockdown is lifted, new research suggests. The study by breakdown recovery firm Green Flag also found more than six in 10 will actively avoid public transport as a result of the Covid-19 pandemic, potentially heaping additional pressure on the road network.
The survey of 2,000 people found 62 percent were planning to steer clear of trains and buses in the wake of the coronavirus crisis, while 32 percent are considering buying a car to help them get around. According to Green Flag, the attitudes displayed are a sign that Brits are trying to keep both themselves and others safe from the virus.
Perhaps unsurprisingly, those in cities are most likely to swap public transport for something a little more private, with 25 percent saying they are considering a new mode of transport post-lockdown. A fifth of Londoners (22 percent) say they will be opting for a bicycle, although no other region of the country is expecting bike ownership to grow quite as substantially.
The population of Oxford is also planning to ditch public transport, with 73 percent claiming they won’t want to use trains or buses when lockdown is over. However, the cities of Norwich and Sheffield were close behind, with 70 percent of their populations planning to eschew public transport in favour of personal mobility.
There’s a generational divide when it comes to post-lockdown transport concerns, too, with youngsters proving the most likely to avoid trains and buses. In fact, more than three quarters of 18-34-year-olds are planning to move to some other form of transport.
Mark Newberry, the commercial director at Green Flag, said the shift in commuter attitudes was good for health, but could cause the roads to look “very different”.
“Workers around the country will no doubt be both excited and nervous about the prospect of heading back to the workplace, with the idea of commuting likely to contribute to their worries,” he said. “Our research shows that Brits are taking the necessary steps to prepare for their return to regular commuting – not only to protect their individual health, but to be conscious of their fellow commuters by exploring alternative ways to travel.
“With nearly a third of Brits looking to purchase a car to limit their exposure to other members of the public, we can expect roads to look very different to what they did pre-lockdown.”