Surge in traffic and public transport as shoppers rush back to high street

Chiara Giordano and Matt Mathers
·1-min read

Traffic levels spiked and demand for public transport surged in England as people rushed back to the high for shopping and to visit pubs.

Vehicle usage was up in major cities, while Transport for London (TfL) reported increased demand for Tube and bus services.

Crowds gathered outside shops and pubs across the country as coronavirus restrictions eased to allow non-essential stores, beer gardens and outdoor restaurant dining to reopen.

Hairdressers, nail salons and indoor gyms also welcomed customers back – however social mixing indoors will continue to be heavily restricted.

A member of the government’s Scientific Pandemic Influenza Group on Modelling (Spi-M) has warned the easing of restrictions could lead to a “resurgence” in coronavirus infection rates – while prime minister Boris Johnson urged people to “behave responsibly”.

Dr Mike Tildesley, reader in infectious disease modelling at the University of Warwick, told Times Radio: "It's hard to tell categorically but I think we do need to remember that with any form of reopening there's going to be more mixing, and so we might expect that that could lead to higher risk.

"We might expect it could have a resurgence, but it's really, really important therefore that people follow the rules that are in place with this relaxation.”