Greener public transport investment preferred, says survey

Also, less air travel expected and bus travel set to decrease, according to report

An international survey has found 57% of its respondents would prefer to see increased investment in greener public transport being prioritised over investment in personal transport in their local area.

These findings form part of an international survey conducted by professional services company GHD among over 8,000 consumers in the UK, the US, Canada, Australia, New Zealand and Singapore in order to gain insight into how changing attitudes and behaviours will shape the way we power our future. In the UK, 1,004 consumers were surveyed. The figures were published as part of a whitepaper: “The World of Energy Post-COVID”.

The report found 36% of people in the UK expect to travel by air less than they did before the Covid-19 pandemic. 29% expect to fly the same amount, while only 9% think they will fly more. Rail and bus travel also looks set to decrease, with 31% and 30% of respondents anticipating that they will use these modes of transport less, respectively. This is driven by the expectation of flexible working going forward, according to the report.

Of the Brits surveyed, 47% expect to use their car the same amount as pre-Covid.

“The transformation in our relationship with physical travel could be one of the most visible legacies of the pandemic” – Jonathan Edwards, Transport Market Leader for EMEA at GHD

Jonathan Edwards, Transport Market Leader for EMEA at GHD, said: “The transformation in our relationship with physical travel could be one of the most visible legacies of the pandemic, as our established working and travelling habits have undergone a seismic shift. Public transport is seeing significantly reduced passenger and revenue levels and we know operators are feeling the squeeze from this, set against their overheads and long-term financial costs, forcing them to focus predominantly on business continuity.

“We are entering a prolonged period of uncertainty and GHD is ready to help authorities and operators with improved business planning to better understand their customers’ behaviour, as well as the pressures on demand and supply across their assets and an increasingly integrated transport network. We appreciate that more time is needed to understand the changes that will arise from the pandemic, but we also think there are major opportunities for companies that can harness greater insight, data and support to re-plan and reposition their organisation for the future and to meet passenger travel needs as they return to the network in various forms.

“Data intelligence and behavioural modelling will play a fundamental role in understanding and predicting consumer behaviour and asset performance, as more permanent patterns emerge and the long-term impacts of Covid become clearer.”

  • GHD’s full whitepaper can be found here.

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