Coronavirus is a once in a lifetime chance to reshape how we travel

(The Conversation, 2 Apr 2020) The transport sector has been impacted as much as any by the coronavirus. This isn’t a normal period of disruption, which is usually caused by failures in supply such as road accidents or industrial action. In this case it is the lack of demand that is the problem.

When the world finally emerges from the pandemic and travel restrictions are ended, a whole reservoir of pent up demand will be suddenly released as people seek to make up lost time. Yet by that point the sector could already look very different, and months of lockdown could have changed patterns of behaviour forever. So what will the crisis mean for how we travel in the future?

The short-term changes are clear: transport has been restricted to people making only necessary journeys. With the exception of deliveries of food and medicine, other forms of travel have dropped precipitously. Specifically, car trips have fallen significantly, while anecdotal evidence suggests that the number of passengers in each car has reduced even further, and walking and cycling trips have been limited.

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The Conversation, 2 Apr 2020: Coronavirus is a once in a lifetime chance to reshape how we travel