Data highlights potential watershed in traffic flows

Analysis of traffic flows across more than 100 English local authority areas suggests that last week could be the last without a morning traffic peak across the nation, despite average levels still being well below what they were pre-lockdown.

The Transport Technology Forum (TTF) gathers data from 107 different districts across the breadth of England ranging from major cities to rural areas to identify trends in traffic flow.  Because many schools went back on Thursday and Friday, some places saw a marked change in peak volumes.

Andy Graham of White Willow Consulting worked with Arup to analyse the data and suggested any rise in traffic later in the week might have been offset by low volumes on an unseasonably cold Bank Holiday Monday.

He said: “Our data is an average across the week so identifying a clear trend now schools are coming back was always going to be unwise this week. However, the data we are gathering is unique in its focus on a range of roads rather than strategic roads, hence its value when it comes to identifying the school run.

“Looking at individual authority data for last Thursday and Friday suggests some of them saw flows similar to baseline, which does imply that this could be the watershed.”

This week’s report also confirms that logistics vehicle traffic remains above baseline suggesting more people are shopping online than going to shops, while cycling continues to vary based on weather.

It also looks at some innovations in local authorities including a tie-up with healthcare professionals to encourage active travel, air quality action plan ideas, how to encourage people to think about the school run, redesigns of road space, new cycle bays and an app to make it easier to access public transport and car sharing information.

You can read the full report here.

LCRIG has teamed up with the Transport Technology Forum (TTF) and Crown Commercial Service (CCS) to deliver a webinar entitled Delivering innovation through collaborative procurementon 1 October. For more information or to register for the event click here.

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