During the pandemic we cannot enjoy a drive in the car. Currently movement in the UK is severely restricted. British citizens have been told to “only go outside for food or health reasons or travelling to and from work but only where you cannot work from home,” and as such, that’s had a dramatic effect on traffic levels.
Following the announcement of the measures on 23 March – intended to curtail the spread of Covid-19 – UK motor vehicle traffic has plummeted by 73 per cent compared to the same time in February, according to Department for Transport figures.
Less cars on the roads
As reported by the media, these kinds of traffic levels haven’t been seen since 1955. And remember, the road network was a lot smaller then, with the first motorway not built until 1958. As a consequence, the UK’s highways will seem like a driver’s paradise with everybody able to enjoy a drive in the car.
During the current pandemic most people are becoming used to the sight of an unutilised vehicle. Either parked up due to furlough/home working or not needing to drive unnecessarily. The environment is benefiting from the lack of vehicle use. Unlike the oil industry who are currently producing more than is required globally.
At Life Insurance Cover we noticed a downward trend in the cost of fuel and asked the question.
What is the cheapest fuel cost you remember as a driver? (Let us know in the comments)
Currently the cost of fuel is:
Petrol £1.08 per litre (23rd April 2020)
Diesel £1.15 per litre (23rd April 2020)
So to fill a Volkswagon Golf with a 55 Litre fuel tank would cost
Petrol £59.40 (£1.08 x 55)
Diesel £63.25 (£1.15 x 55)
With a comparison from this date last year you would have to pay
Petrol £69.30 (1.26 x 55)
Diesel £73.70 (1.34 x 55)
But it could work out even cheaper, following a visit to the office of national statistics website we discovered that UK drivers are still paying a non-variable cost called fuel duty. Which currently is a whopping 57p a litre, it doesn’t sound like a large amount. However if you allow for the base cost of fuel (petrol 32p a litre/diesel 38p) it soon drives up the cost on already disheartened drivers.
Has all modes of transport dropped?
It’s the same story across all modes of transport. Rail journeys has dropped by 90 per cent, while bus journeys in London are at just 17 per cent of the normal volume. Following the announcement of the new restrictions.
The contravention of the new restrictions could land you with a £60 fine for the first offence.
Time will tell if the drastic lifestyle changes Coronavirus has forced upon us will have a longer-term impact on traffic. Many employees and firms will be finding that, in actual fact, sticking a load of people in an expensive office building five days a week isn’t always needed with the benefit of technology today.
It wouldn’t be a surprise to see a rise in remote working even when all this is over, with this unprecedented period of modern history proving to be a big home-working experiment for a lot of companies and employees. Such a change in working habits would mean fewer commutes and quieter roads so it may be possible to enjoy a drive in your car. Also less traffic for those who do actually need to get somewhere at rush hour, and less pollution.