Drivers have remained more actively on the roads in the UK’s second lockdown, in sharp contrast to the early days of the crisis.
Providing a barometer of car usage, figures from cashless parking solutions provider RingGo show parking sessions fell 60% in the first week of the latest lockdown compared to normal levels – but were still up 1% from the week beginning 4 July when the initial lockdown restrictions were relaxed.
This compares to the first lockdown, which saw a drastic decline of 87% less parking sessions in late March and suggests Brits aren’t as committed to the current restrictions.
London has seen the least impact on movement during ‘Lockdown 2.0’ with only a 28% decline in parking sessions – a similar trend to that seen in late March.
RingGo’s data also shows how anticipation of a second national lockdown led drivers to hit the roads in record numbers before the restrictions came into effect – England saw an 8% increase in parking sessions between 26-31 October.
Peter O’Driscoll, managing director, RingGo, said: “Over the past few months, we have become a country fascinated with data. From infection rates and testing numbers, to furlough statistics and economic figures. Often these have not been the most uplifting figures, but as the country starts to figure out next steps we can hopefully continue to use data points to see the good.
“One way that RingGo has been tracking recovery is in the number of parking sessions that we are seeing across the country. Following the end of the first lockdown in July, RingGo’s Parking Barometer gave an indication of people emerging from ‘hibernation’ and starting to visit stores and restaurants in the hope to boost the economy.
“Now data from our most recent barometer shows that, in anticipation of the second lockdown announcement, there was a flurry of activity as Brits capitalised on their last moments of mobility freedom. It’s interesting to see that, rather than slowing down, people actually sped up.”