Research shows passenger anxieties about using public transport

Transport Focus and London TravelWatch are calling for governments and the transport industry to outline how they will reassure passengers that it will be safe to travel by public transport in the wake of research which showed that three in five passengers said they wouldn’t feel comfortable using public transport during the Covid-19 crisis.

“After months of being told not to travel people will understandably be fearful about venturing out,” says Anthony Smith, chief executive, Transport Focus. “The government must outline in its upcoming roadmap for easing lockdown what measures it will put in place to reassure people they can travel safely.”

People in London are more likely to say they will look to cycle and walk more, rather than catch public transport, according to the research, while those outside London are more likely to say they will switch to driving. Transport Focus and London TravelWatch are calling for governments to ensure that ‘active travel’ is encouraged, to prevent roads becoming more congested.

Emma Gibson, director, London TravelWatch, adds: “Like everyone, Londoners are concerned about travelling once restrictions are lifted in the capital, but a greater number of people intend to walk and cycle more often, compared to other parts of the country.”

Commenting on the research, CPT chief executive Graham Vidler says: “The public are understandably nervous about returning to normal life, including using public transport. 

“However, operators are doing everything they can, including enhanced cleaning regimes, to keep staff and passengers safe.”

The survey also found that 51 per cent wouldn’t be happy using public transport unless fellow passengers are required to wear face masks. People aged 18-24 are most comfortable about returning to public transport (40 per cent).