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Restrictions placed on public transport could mean over a million more cars could take to the roads in England and Wales, according to a new study.

Researchers at Westminster University’s Active Travel Academy have suggested that as the lockdown is lifted, public transport is likely to be in more demand.

However, with social distancing measures put in place, many commuters are likely to resort to trading in their bus tickets for car keys, which could see an unprecedented increase in cars on the road.

The study warned that roads England and Wales could face serious gridlock if car owners decide to ditch public transport. Some areas like Brighton and Hove, Oxford, Newcastle and Birmingham as well as the London Borough of Camden could see three-quarters more cars on the road during rush hour.

The study was commissioned by Possible – a climate change charity, who’s called upon public authorities to make rapid changes to road layouts to make it safer for cyclists and pedestrians. It also suggest that half of public transport journeys could be made on foot or bicycle.

Camden councillor Adam Harrison said: “The prospect of a 74 per cent rise in the number of cars used to commute in Camden is deeply alarming. The report recommends bringing in pop-up cycle lanes and low-traffic neighbourhoods – measures that in Camden we have already begun introducing in response to the covid emergency.

“We have shown that the political will exists to avert the congestion, air pollution, and carbon impacts brought about by a rise in driving. But to really stop the carpocalypse the report warns of, we will also need substantial financial support to ensure inner London does not come to a standstill.”

 

Ted Welford

By

June 10, 2020

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