Londoners’ way of life changed long term by the pandemic

Transport for London has released its annual transport survey, which shows how drastically the pandemic has affected the lives of Londoners.

The coronavirus pandemic has disrupted normal daily life in London to an extent that is unprecedented in modern times, the report says.

In the week of the lockdown announcement in mid-March 2020, demand on all networks fell rapidly, but the scale and timing of the reduction was different for each mode.

• London Underground saw the biggest and quickest drop in demand, which at the lowest point, in the days following the lockdown announcement, reached a maximum of 97 per cent (ie. only three per cent of normal patronage remained).

• Bus demand also fell sharply, with up to an 86 per cent drop at the lowest point.

• The fall was smallest and latest for motorised road traffic on the TLRN strategic road network, which at the lowest point only saw a maximum 65 per cent reduction with respect to 2019 at the London-wide level.

Road traffic began to recover relatively quickly from mid-April. The pace of recovery then slowed down through July and August, flattening at just above 90 per cent of normal.

Increases in walking and cycling

Transport for London’s annual survey shows a marked increased in cycling. A greater proportion of London residents are cycling more frequently since lockdown. The survey showed 30 per cent of respondents would consider cycling to work, and, of those, one in three would consider cycling all the way.

Walking in 2019 was estimated to account for 25 per cent of all travel in London. The survey showed people are walking more as consequence of the pandemic.

Image above: Julia Langdon, who has worked from home for nearly 30 years

Working from home set to continue

The whole pattern of travel is changing, with the trend for working from home looking set to continue. A GLA survey in September found that almost three-quarters (72 per cent) of the workforce in central London office based businesses are predicted to work from home for the next two years.

It also found that 40 per cent of central London office-based businesses thought they would downsize their office accommodation in the next six months. Many employees have a desire to work remotely in the long term, at least part-time.

The report concludes that ‘the balance of residents and workers inside and outside London could be quite different as a result of the pandemic’.

This has been born out by evidence of flat and house sales, with people moving out of central London to the suburbs and people moving out of outer London for the countryside.

Read more stories on The Chiswick Calendar

See also: Design framework published on how to improve Turnham Green Terrace

See also: House sales up 26%

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