I live near one of the main routes into the centre of Newcastle. Lately I've noticed that traffic during what you might describe as the morning rush hour has increased. It doesn't feel that different from what a typical rush hour might have been like before the pandemic.
When I see this, questions start popping in my head:
- Where are they all going?
- What is it going to be like when more people start returning to the office?
- How much worse can this get?
My most niggling question concerns public transport. During rush hour before the pandemic there would be full buses going by every 5 minutes. Post pandemic, however, people will be more cautious about getting on a bus. That's perfectly understandable, but it worries me that instead of the bus they will opt to drive instead. Then we'll be in a situation where there are more cars than ever on the road during rush hour.
Here are some more questions that spring to mind when I think about possible ways to avoid this:
- What needs to be in place to make public transport safe during busy times?
- What will help increase people's confidence in using public transport?
- What can we do to show people all the available options for their commute?
- What can we do to help encourage and support transport decisions that benefit the environment?