Lockdown traffic trends emerging

Friday, 1 May, 2020

Over the past 8 weeks we have been closely watching how national traffic trends have been changing under the Covid-19 lockdown. The data shown here comes from Viva’s smart sensors located in 10 cities across the UK.

In the first weeks of the lockdown, I posted a couple of articles detailing the sharp drop in all modes of road traffic, and the sharp decrease in the number of <2m pedestrian interactions seen on our roads.

In the subsequent weeks, while the number of pedestrian interactions has remained very low. a few other trends have started to emerge:

  • Traffic levels are growing again, by about 2% per week compared with the pre-lockdown baseline.
  • This has been driven by commercial traffic, which is growing at a rate of 6% per week compared to this pre-lockdown baseline.
  • Active transportation spiked over the string of sunny weekends we have had, but has dropped back during this week’s rain, replaced by a small rise in car traffic
  • The times of day that people go out have changed. During weekdays, the morning and evening rush hour peaks in pedestrian interactions have been replaced by a slow build during the day to a peak at 6pm. To help Social Distancing, it would be best to avoid taking your daily exercise between 4pm and 8pm.
  • At the weekends in retail parks, pedestrian interactions peak between noon and 3pm. To help Social Distancing, it would be best to avoid doing a weekly shop at these times.

(Our sensors do not collect personal data, and none of our clients can use our technologies to gather any kind of personal data, ever).