Almost a third of people polled said they will avoid public transport until they feel safe, due to COVID-19 fears

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13th May 2020 09:08 - Transport and Distribution

Almost a third of people polled said they will avoid public transport until they feel safe due to COVID-19 fears: A Transport Focus survey has revealed insight into how people are feeling about public transport since the UK outbreak of COVID-19 and how their habits have changed when it comes to getting around.

The survey of 2,000 UK people found that almost a third of respondents would not be willing to use the public transport network again for any reason, until they feel safe -- with 60% saying they will use their car when restrictions are lifted. 

Since the coronavirus pandemic began, the survey found that over 90% of people have refrained from using public transport. When asked the reasons why, more than half (53%) said because they have no reason to, while almost two-fifths (39%) said they were following the instructions put in place by the Government. 

To add context, before the crisis, 43% of people nationally said they used public transport at least a few times a month, rising to 80% in London. Young people used public transport the most, with 61% saying they relied on it regularly, according to the UK watchdog.

Just 6% said they had used public transport in the week before the survey was conducted.  

The survey asked respondents about their expectations for public transport during the COVID-19 outbreak, with 83% saying that they think vehicles should be fitted with hand sanitiser dispensers, as well as at  stations and stops. Over six in 10 (62%) said they would refrain from travelling using public transport until social distancing measures were implemented, and around half (51%) want to see the wearing of masks enforced for those using  the service.

However, even if all of these measures were put into place, only a quarter (24%) of survey participants said they would feel okay with using public transport once restrictions have been lifted. 

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