2021
9
UK Impact of COVID-19 on Transport Usage Market Report 2021
2021-06-19T04:06:06+01:00
OX1048757
2195
139547
[{"name":"Transport","url":"https:\/\/store.mintel.com\/industries\/transport"}]
Report
en_GB
“COVID-19 has been hugely disruptive for transport, but offers a chance to reset the dial and build a more sustainable, integrated 21st century network. The car has become a cocoon…

UK Impact of COVID-19 on Transport Usage Market Report 2021

£ 2,195 (Excl.Tax)

Report Summary

Providing the most comprehensive and up-to-date information and analysis of the UK Transport market, including the behaviours, preferences and habits of the consumer.

The transport industry was severely disrupted throughout the COVID-19 pandemic, with stay at home orders and closure of many non-essential businesses seeing a major drop in people using public transport. However, private travel faired better, with many people becoming more car-dependant during the lockdowns.

Transport usage is likely to see a transitional period in the coming months, with demand recovering. However, with 22% of consumers who regularly used trains and buses pre-pandemic not being comfortable returning even after being vaccinated could indicate that the public transport industry may be slow to recover. 73% of adults also report that the pandemic has made them more aware of catching other viruses on public transport, and new commuting, shopping and living habits could also affect usage.

As the pandemic subsides and restrictions ease, car travel has recovered to 90% normal usage while train services have recovered 45% and buses by 60%. The current biggest risk to the industry is the long-term revenue losses for public transport, with fairs expected to rise. However, active travel has been boosted, with opportunities for both the cycling and domestic tourism sectors.

Read on to discover more details or take a look at all of our UK Automotive market research.

Quickly understand

  • The impact of COVID-19 on transport during the pandemic and its aftermath.
  • New hybrid working, online shopping and relocation trends, and their likely impacts on transport.
  • Government policy, decarbonisation and investment in transport.
  • Consumer attitudes towards public transport and car travel, and incentives to use public transport in future.
  • Consumer interest and opportunities in active travel, e-mobility and driverless cars.

Covered in this report

Brands: Transport for London, Esoterix, Urban-Air Port, Co Charger.

Expert analysis from a specialist in the field

Written by John Worthington, a leading analyst in the Food & Drink sector, his extensive knowledge delivers in-depth commentary and analysis to highlight current trends and add expert context to the numbers.

COVID-19 has been hugely disruptive for transport, but offers a chance to reset the dial and build a more sustainable, integrated 21st century network. The car has become a cocoon for many people during the pandemic and the challenge of encouraging a modal shift towards public transport has become that much harder. Pre-pandemic problems such as over-crowding and lack of hygiene on public transport, and road pollution and congestion in cities need to be urgently addressed.
COVID-19 has also been the catalyst for a number of permanent changes in living and working patterns which will help to reshape transport use. The need to decarbonise will form the context for future transport planning. Technological innovation will play a key role, empowering and nudging consumers towards greener, healthier choices. Active travel has moved up a gear during the pandemic and, alongside emerging e-mobility solutions, will help to re-design how people move around their local communities.
John Worthington
Senior Analyst

Table of Contents

  1. Overview

      • Key issues covered in this Report
        • Covered in this Report
          • COVID-19: Market context
            • Economic and other assumptions
            • Executive Summary

                • Impact of COVID-19
                  • Figure 1: Short-, medium- and long-term impact of COVID-19 on transport, 26 May 2021
                • The market
                  • Public transport has been the worst hit and slowest to recover
                    • Figure 2: Public transport, passenger volumes, 2015/16-2020/21*
                  • A third of adults have used their car more often during the pandemic…
                    • …but walking and cycling have also increased
                      • Figure 3: Transport modes used more often during COVID-19, April 2021
                    • Decarbonisation targets will frame future transport policy…
                      • …but the challenge of creating a modal shift is now harder…
                        • …and social changes triggered by COVID-19 will affect transport
                          • Companies and brands
                            • Technology will help drive behavioural change
                              • The consumer
                                • 35-54s and Londoners are the most likely to reduce their long-term use of public transport
                                  • Figure 4: Expected regular transport usage after COVID-19 versus regular usage before COVID-19, April 2021
                                • Lower fares are seen as the biggest incentive to use public transport more
                                  • Figure 5: Factors most likely to encourage greater use of public transport in future, April 2021
                                • Consumers will remain more aware of health risks on public transport
                                  • Figure 6: Attitudes towards COVID-19 and public transport use, April 2021
                                • A third of car users would like to get more active for shorter journeys
                                  • Safer cycling would help to sustain the COVID bike boom
                                    • E-mobility poised for take-off
                                      • Figure 7: Interest in adopting active travel/e-mobility transport options, April 2021
                                    • Consumers will choose the most convenient option
                                      • Figure 8: Attitudes towards cars/driving, April 2021
                                      • Figure 9: Further attitudes towards cars/driving, April 2021
                                  • Issues and Insights

                                    • Post-COVID societal changes will reshape how we live and move around…
                                      • Hybrid working
                                        • Virtual business travel
                                          • Out-migration and falling inward migration
                                            • The halo effect
                                              • Shopping from home
                                                • The new localism
                                                  • …bringing new impacts, challenges and opportunities for transport
                                                    • Changing transport patterns
                                                      • New fare structures
                                                        • Fewer but longer commutes
                                                          • Rebrand opportunity
                                                            • Focus shifting from work to leisure
                                                              • Local travel impacts and opportunities
                                                              • The Market – Key Takeaways

                                                                • Public transport has fared the worst and is the slowest to recover
                                                                  • COVID-19 has triggered a rise in cycling and walking
                                                                    • Consumers do not anticipate heavier car use after the pandemic…
                                                                      • …but enticing people to use public transport has become harder
                                                                        • Hybrid working, online shopping & out-migration from cities will impact on the future of transport
                                                                          • Decarbonisation needs will shape post-pandemic transport recovery
                                                                            • Railway shake-up, bus and active travel investment
                                                                            • Transport Usage pre-COVID-19

                                                                              • Car travel accounted for six in 10 journeys pre-COVID
                                                                                • Figure 10: Average number of trips (per person), by main transport mode in England, 2009-19
                                                                                • Figure 11: Share of trips by main transport mode, by trip length, England, 2019
                                                                              • One in four adults were regular public transport users pre-COVID
                                                                                • Figure 12: Transport usage before COVID-19, April 2021
                                                                                • Figure 13: Regular transport usage (more than once a week) before COVID-19, April 2021
                                                                              • Younger age groups are the most likely to use public transport
                                                                                • Figure 14: Regular car and public transport usage (more than once a week) before COVID-19, by age, April 2021
                                                                              • Public transport use had overtaken car use only in London pre-COVID
                                                                                • Figure 15: Regular car and public transport usage (more than once a week) before COVID-19, by area, April 2021
                                                                              • Long-term trend shows a generational shift in driving
                                                                                • Lower-income households are more reliant on public transport
                                                                                  • Train passengers have a more affluent profile than bus users
                                                                                    • Six in 10 regular public transport users were commuters pre-COVID
                                                                                      • Figure 16: Purpose of regular transport usage (more than once a week) before COVID-19, April 2021
                                                                                  • Transport Usage during COVID-19

                                                                                    • Car travel has recovered much quicker than public transport…
                                                                                      • …but buses have recovered faster than trains…
                                                                                        • Figure 17: Car and public transport usage during COVID-19 (as a percentage of pre-COVID usage), March 2020-May 2021
                                                                                      • …and cycling & walking have seen a major boost
                                                                                        • Figure 18: Bicycle usage during COVID-19 (as a percentage of pre-COVID usage*), March 2020-May 2021
                                                                                        • Figure 19: Adult participation* (aged 16+) in cycling in England, November 2016/17-November 2019/20
                                                                                      • Cars have become more important to their owners but new sales have slumped
                                                                                        • The perception of security on public transport has been damaged
                                                                                          • Figure 20: Transport modes used more often during COVID-19, April 2021
                                                                                        • Half of adults have started walking more
                                                                                        • Public Transport Passenger Volumes and Revenue

                                                                                          • Public transport passenger numbers fell 70% in 2020-21
                                                                                            • Rail had reached record passenger levels pre-COVID…
                                                                                              • …but bus travel had already seen a sharp decline
                                                                                                • Light rail/tram was a small but steadily rising sector pre-COVID
                                                                                                  • Figure 21: Number of passenger journeys on public transport in Great Britain, by segment, 2015/16-2020/21*
                                                                                                  • Figure 22: Passenger revenue on public transport in Great Britain, by segment, 2015/16-2020/21*
                                                                                                • An estimated 400 million coach passengers pre-COVID
                                                                                                  • An estimated 740 million taxi rides pre-COVID
                                                                                                  • Market Drivers – Impact of COVID-19 on the Future of Work, Shopping and Leisure

                                                                                                    • Homeworking doubled in 2020
                                                                                                      • London & the South East had the highest levels of WFH
                                                                                                        • Figure 23: Percentage of UK workforce working from home, by region, 2019 and 2020*
                                                                                                      • ABC1s were far more likely to be homeworking
                                                                                                        • Figure 24: Percentage of UK workforce working from home, by occupational type, 2019 and 2020*
                                                                                                      • Hybrid working will remain the norm for many white-collar workers
                                                                                                        • Escape from the city
                                                                                                          • Hybrid working will have the biggest impact on rail
                                                                                                            • Figure 25: Percentage of total journeys made for commuting purposes in England, by mode, 2019
                                                                                                          • The rise of the virtual business traveller
                                                                                                            • COVID-19 has accelerated the trend towards online shopping
                                                                                                              • Figure 26: Online sales as a percentage of total UK retail sales, January 2020-March 2021
                                                                                                            • Homeworkers are also shopping more locally
                                                                                                              • Figure 27: Increase in online shopping during COVID-19, April 2020-March 2021
                                                                                                            • COVID cabin fever is likely to lead to a revival of out-of-home leisure
                                                                                                              • New working, shopping & living patterns could have big implications for transport
                                                                                                                • Permanent revenue loss for public transport
                                                                                                                  • New patterns of transport distribution
                                                                                                                    • New fare structures
                                                                                                                      • An opportunity to tackle over-crowding
                                                                                                                        • Fewer but longer commutes are possible
                                                                                                                          • Local transport usage may increase
                                                                                                                            • A shift from work-related to leisure-oriented travel
                                                                                                                            • Other Key Market Drivers

                                                                                                                                • Transport Decarbonisation
                                                                                                                                  • Electric vehicle conversion
                                                                                                                                    • Innovation
                                                                                                                                      • A modal shift
                                                                                                                                        • Growing restrictions on cars in urban areas
                                                                                                                                          • The biggest shake-up of the railway for a generation
                                                                                                                                            • A new National Bus Strategy
                                                                                                                                              • COVID-19 has quickened the pace of active travel investment
                                                                                                                                                • Micro-mobility developments
                                                                                                                                                  • A greener and more joined-up transport system may be emerging…
                                                                                                                                                    • …but contradictions in government policy remain
                                                                                                                                                      • Public transport fares have risen steeply over the past two decades
                                                                                                                                                        • Figure 28: Increase in bus fares versus CPI, in Great Britain, 2005-20
                                                                                                                                                        • Figure 29: Real-term* increase in rail fares, in Great Britain, 2004-20
                                                                                                                                                      • The cost of rail commuting is high but leisure train travel can be good value
                                                                                                                                                        • Motoring costs have fallen whilst public transport fares have risen
                                                                                                                                                          • Figure 30: Increase in UK rail and bus & coach fares versus RPI, April 2011-March 2021
                                                                                                                                                      • Companies and Brands – Key Takeaways

                                                                                                                                                        • Shared charging
                                                                                                                                                          • Local journey planning apps
                                                                                                                                                            • Demand Responsive Transport
                                                                                                                                                              • Viral extraction
                                                                                                                                                                • Air taxi pilot
                                                                                                                                                                  • B2V technology
                                                                                                                                                                  • Launch Activity and Innovation

                                                                                                                                                                      • P2P charging
                                                                                                                                                                        • Local integrated travel
                                                                                                                                                                          • Buses on demand
                                                                                                                                                                            • Crowd control
                                                                                                                                                                              • Anti-virals
                                                                                                                                                                                • Flying taxis
                                                                                                                                                                                  • Bike alert
                                                                                                                                                                                    • Cleaner air
                                                                                                                                                                                    • The Consumer – Key Takeaways

                                                                                                                                                                                      • Londoners expect to see the biggest fall in public transport use
                                                                                                                                                                                        • Lower fares are key to encouraging public transport use
                                                                                                                                                                                          • Personal space and hygiene have become bigger issues for travellers
                                                                                                                                                                                            • Health & fitness trend will help to grow active travel
                                                                                                                                                                                              • E-mobility poised for take-off
                                                                                                                                                                                                • Challenging the convenience of the car culture
                                                                                                                                                                                                • Anticipated Transport Usage after COVID-19

                                                                                                                                                                                                  • Transport in transition
                                                                                                                                                                                                    • Consumers expect car use to return to pre-COVID levels and public transport use to fall slightly
                                                                                                                                                                                                      • Figure 31: Expected transport usage after COVID-19, April 2021
                                                                                                                                                                                                      • Figure 32: Expected regular transport usage after COVID-19 versus regular usage before COVID-19, April 2021
                                                                                                                                                                                                    • 35-54s expect to decrease public transport use and increase active travel
                                                                                                                                                                                                      • Londoners expect to see the biggest reduction in public transport use
                                                                                                                                                                                                        • Figure 33: Expected regular transport usage after COVID-19 versus regular usage before COVID-19, by age, April 2021
                                                                                                                                                                                                    • Incentives to Use Public Transport

                                                                                                                                                                                                      • Cheaper fares are key to greater public transport use
                                                                                                                                                                                                        • Figure 34: Factors most likely to encourage greater use of public transport in future, April 2021
                                                                                                                                                                                                      • Frequency and reliability of public transport seen as a critical improvement by older consumers outside of cities
                                                                                                                                                                                                        • COVID-19 has intensified awareness of personal space and hygiene
                                                                                                                                                                                                          • Core improvements can also attract more women to public transport
                                                                                                                                                                                                            • Figure 35: Leading factors most likely to encourage greater use of public transport in future, by gender, April 2021
                                                                                                                                                                                                        • Future Transport Opportunities

                                                                                                                                                                                                          • A third of regular car travellers would like to walk/cycle more for short journeys
                                                                                                                                                                                                            • The hybrid worker may consider active travel for commuting
                                                                                                                                                                                                              • E-mobility is poised for take-off
                                                                                                                                                                                                                • Figure 36: Interest in adopting active travel/e-mobility transport options, April 2021
                                                                                                                                                                                                              • One in five men under 45 are interested in using driverless cars
                                                                                                                                                                                                                • Men under 35 are also the most interested in car sharing
                                                                                                                                                                                                                  • Figure 37: Interest in using driverless cars and car-sharing schemes, April 2021
                                                                                                                                                                                                              • Transport Behaviours & Attitudes

                                                                                                                                                                                                                • Consumers will cautiously return to public transport but will remain more aware of health risks
                                                                                                                                                                                                                  • Figure 38: Attitudes towards COVID-19 and public transport use, April 2021
                                                                                                                                                                                                                • Tackling the ‘convenience’ of the car is critical to creating a modal shift
                                                                                                                                                                                                                  • Figure 39: Attitudes towards cars/driving, April 2021
                                                                                                                                                                                                                  • Figure 40: Further attitudes towards cars/driving, April 2021
                                                                                                                                                                                                                • There is widespread public support for active travel measures…
                                                                                                                                                                                                                  • …but opinions are divided on road user charging
                                                                                                                                                                                                                    • Figure 41: Attitudes towards measures designed to encourage public and active transport, April 2021
                                                                                                                                                                                                                  • Four in 10 adults would cycle more if it was made safer
                                                                                                                                                                                                                    • Figure 42: Further attitudes towards measures designed to encourage active transport, April 2021
                                                                                                                                                                                                                • Appendix – Data Sources, Abbreviations, and Supporting Information

                                                                                                                                                                                                                    • Abbreviations
                                                                                                                                                                                                                      • Consumer research methodology

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