Covid-19 working from home: London's roads are quietest for five months during Tuesday term time 1

Covid-19 working from home: London’s roads are quietest for five months during Tuesday term time

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London’s roads are quietest for five months during term time as workers continue to ditch their rush hour commutes the day after government WFH guidance was re-introduced

  • Congestion level reported by TomTom in London between 7am and 8am this morning was 48 per cent
  • This is lowest for that period on a Tuesday since before summer holidays, when half-term is excluded
  • Figure represents proportion of extra time required for journeys compared with free-flowing conditions
  • Road and rail use has plummeted after Government’s return to working from home guidance kicked in
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Britons continued to work from home today as London’s roads were the quietest they have been for a term-time Tuesday rush-hour morning in five months.

The congestion level reported by TomTom in the capital between 7am and 8am today was 48 per cent – the lowest for that period on a Tuesday since before the summer holidays, when half-term is excluded.

The figures represent the proportion of additional time required for journeys compared with free-flowing conditions. A 48 per cent level therefore means a 30-minute trip will take 14 minutes more than with no traffic.

In comparison, congestion for the same period in London on a Tuesday has been between 53 and 54 per cent for the last five weeks in a row, and peaked at 66 per cent on September 14, soon after the schools went back.

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In half-term it fell to 35 per cent, while in the summer holidays it floated between 24 and 27 per cent. The last time it was lower than 48 per cent outside of term-time on a Tuesday was July 20, when it was 34 per cent.

Road and rail use has plummeted this week as the Government’s return to working from home guidance kicked in, with traffic levels in towns and cities across England falling by as much as nearly half.

During a press conference last Wednesday, Prime Minister Boris Johnson urged people in England to work from home where possible from yesterday, which brought the country in line with the rest of the UK.

A quiet main road near London Euston train station yesterday morning as the Government advises people to work from home

A quiet main road near London Euston train station yesterday morning as the Government advises people to work from home

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Commuters on a Bakerloo line London Underground train carriage at 5.25pm in the evening rush hour yesterday

Commuters on a Bakerloo line London Underground train carriage at 5.25pm in the evening rush hour yesterday

TomTom data found London's roads were the quietest they have been on a term-time Tuesday rush-hour morning since July

TomTom data found London’s roads were the quietest they have been on a term-time Tuesday rush-hour morning since July

Transport for London, which runs the capital’s bus and Underground network, yesterday recorded an 18 per cent reduction in Tube journeys up to 10am. Bus use also dropped 6 per cent. Today’s data is yet to be released.

Network Rail also reported plummeting commuter numbers at platforms during the traditional rush hour period of 6am to 9.30am yesterday.

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Of the stations it gave figures for, Cannon Street in the City of London saw the largest week-on-week decline, with demand down 38 per cent.

This was followed by Leeds (35 per cent) and Waterloo and King’s Cross stations in London, which saw drops in demand of 34 per cent and 28 per cent respectively.

Elsewhere, there was a 24 per cent drop in demand at Birmingham New Street, 20 per cent at Manchester Piccadilly and 11 per cent at Edinburgh Waverley.

Covid-19 working from home: London's roads are quietest for five months during Tuesday term time 2

Covid-19 working from home: London's roads are quietest for five months during Tuesday term time 4

 

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Covid-19 working from home: London's roads are quietest for five months during Tuesday term time 6

 

Covid-19 working from home: London's roads are quietest for five months during Tuesday term time 8

 

The figures are particularly bad news for the rail industry, which continues to be bailed out by taxpayers to the tune of billions of pounds.

It raised the prospect of services having to be cut or never returning to pre-pandemic levels on some routes to ensure they remain financially viable.

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TfL has warned that a whole Tube line may need to be shut or 100 bus routes axed for current service levels to continue if a new bailout package is not agreed with ministers.

The latest package ran out on Saturday, but ministers yesterday confirmed it has been extended until this weekend while a deal is thrashed out.

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