Weekend rush hours are more crowded than weekday rush hours, and since the epidemic began three years ago, the average city traffic speed has decreased by up to 2.5 mph.
According to traffic statistics, drivers who travel between 7 a.m. and 7 p.m. on Saturdays and Sundays take longer than those who travel between 7 a.m. and 9 a.m. and 4 p.m. to 7 p.m. during the weekday peak hours.
Results are based on studies of travel times in Birmingham, Manchester, and London, the three major cities in England.
“Since the epidemic, the challenges of morning and afternoon peaks are expanding to other times of the day and week,” Dan Saunders, head of product at Basemap, a travel data company that carried out the research, told the Times.
The Department for Transport uses Basemap’s traffic model.
Weekend travel in Birmingham has decreased from 16.5 mph in the year leading up to April 2020 to 14.24 mph in the year leading up to current April.
The average speed in London has fallen from 14.6 mph to 12.56 mph.
They have decreased from 15.2 mph to 12.83 mph in Manchester.
From midnight to four in the morning, Birmingham traffic decreased from 20.39 mph to 18.78 mph, London traffic went from 18.64 mph to 17.51 mph, and Manchester traffic went from 18.55 mph to 17.73 mph.
Bus riders outside of London were at 91% of pre-pandemic levels, while London Underground riders were at 80%. National rail travel has been at roughly 88.6% of pre-pandemic levels.
In contrast, according to Department of Transportation data for the week ending October 3, van traffic—serving the growth in online shopping and supermarket deliveries—is at 116% of pre-pandemic levels and vehicle traffic is at 96%.
Despite the fact that road traffic is at a high level, the government’s efforts to improve urban life are reducing the road’s capacity.
The implementation of 20 mph speed limits, the development of low-traffic neighborhoods, and the expansion of cycle lanes specifically for bicycles are all part of this initiative.
According to Nick Owen, director of network performance at Transport for London, a 1 mph decrease in bus speed results in a £200 million annual loss for the company because people choose not to ride.
In the borough of Islington, Owen has been testing ways to reduce delays by better managing roadworks and rephasing traffic signals as needed.
In order to prevent traffic from diverting onto smaller roads to avoid a delay, measures included cutting the amount of time that cars had to wait for a green light from 265 seconds to 140 seconds.
Following the outcomes of this experiment, six other councils have already shown an interest, together with Transport for the North and the West Midlands and Greater Manchester transport authorities.
Danny Dorling, the Halford Mackinder Professor of Geography at Oxford, said that it was incorrect to place the blame on initiatives designed to improve safety and promote cycling and walking.
Whether they be 20 mph speed limits or low-traffic neighborhoods, the modifications to our road system are much too little to fully explain this decrease in speed. The biggest change is that more individuals than before the outbreak are attempting new ways to utilize their automobiles. It doesn’t take much of an increase to have this impact all of a sudden.
‘If buses can actually go at 20mph, the journey is much faster than if they were travelling on a road where the official speed limit is 30mph but congestion means that you’re very often going under 10mph,’ he said. He added that it was possible to shorten travel times without raising speed limits and compromising safety.
Private automobiles are an inefficient use of space in towns and cities, according to David Milner, deputy director of Create Streets, a nonprofit organization that has impacted government planning policy.
A decent park and ride or park and ebike facility, with banks of slower electric vehicle chargers for commuters to leave their vehicles to charge throughout the day, may help reduce traffic congestion, according to Edmund King, president of the AA. He said, “Gridlocked cities would simply drive more citizens and commuters to the suburbs and beyond.”