LONDON--(BUSINESS WIRE)--85 percent of motorists in the UK consider taking an alternative route to avoid traffic jams and congested roads. For less than half, using public transport is an option. This was the result of a survey conducted immediately before the outbreak of the Corona pandemic in March. Once Corona restrictions are finally lifted, public transport will likely be even less popular and traffic congestion will become even worse. For the "Kapsch TrafficCom Index" study, a representative sample of 1,000 citizens was surveyed by a market research institute in the United Kingdom.
Drivers respond to traffic congestion by considering alternative routes (85 percent), changing their departure time (80 percent) or checking travel information before leaving (76 percent). In contrast, less than half of all drivers (42 percent) could imagine leaving their car behind and using public transport instead.
"We expect that public transport will be even less popular for getting from A to B after the Corona pandemic", says Steve Parsons, Head of UK Sales Kapsch TrafficCom. "Traffic management will have to deal with this".
32.5 million vehicles
Increasing traffic volumes and road congestion have been long-term developments preceding the Corona pandemic: a key driver has been the sharp rise in the number of registered cars. The number of licensed cars in the UK rose to 32.5 million vehicles within five years (2014-2018) – an increase of 2 million cars.
"There are technical solutions available today to ensure smooth traffic flow in times of very high traffic volumes," says Steve Parsons. "Traffic management is based on several pillars and involves linking car-based IT to public traffic guidance systems, controlling traffic lights adaptively or selecting routes collaboratively."
How to reduce congestion
As a first option the digital control of traffic lights should be considered. Experience shows that congestion times can be reduced by up to a quarter. The widespread use of SIM cards and vehicle-based GPS also makes it possible to obtain and use real-time traffic data from vehicles. This could significantly improve our understanding of the actual traffic situation on the roads, which in turn could help predict traffic jams. The benefits would be comparable to the introduction of satellites in meteorology, which improved weather forecasting, explains Parsons.
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