All change? Travel behaviour, attitudes and social impact of COVID-19

Ipsos MORI conducted a UK-wide online survey during February and March 2021 on behalf of the Department for Transport as part of the All change? research programme.

The author(s)

  • Ben Marshall Public Affairs
  • Lore Bizgan Public Affairs
  • Glenn Gottfried Public Affairs
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The survey was the fourth in a series, designed in response to the Covid-19 pandemic to measure and explore the reasons for current and future changes in behaviour.

Overall, as restrictions had tightened, people travelled less during February/March 2021 than they had during November/December 2020. While levels of car driving and car passenger travel in February/March were similar to those in November/December; frequent car use (of once a week or more) decreased during this period. The incidence of car driving was in line with levels during the first UK-wide lockdown in April/May 2020, but car passenger travel was significantly higher at 54% compared to 43%.

Having increased last summer, use of buses, trains and underground/metro services were lower in November/December 2020 and February/March 2021. Usage levels were significantly lower than they were in January-March 2020, before the pandemic. For example, 10% of adults travelled by train during February/March 2021, compared to 63% 12 months earlier.

New questions indicated the potentially significant and positive impact that the Covid-19 vaccination roll-out could have on people’s willingness to use public transport. While the latest survey indicated low levels of comfort using public transport, it also showed that the majority of UK adults would feel comfortable using public transport once they (61%) and members of their household (60%) had been vaccinated, and comfort levels were even higher at the point when all adults have been offered their second dose (75%).

The majority (61%) of UK adults supported retaining the requirement to wear face coverings on public transport, even when all UK adults have been offered both vaccine doses. This also applies to social distancing, with 58% supporting retention.


Read the full Wave 4 report and previous reports here

 

Technical Notes
Fieldwork for the fourth wave of All change? was undertaken between 23 February and 9 March 2021, following the Prime Minister’s announcement of a Roadmap for easing lockdown restrictions in England. It involved an online survey of 3,388 UK adults including 2,497 respondents who took part at wave 3. The report includes longitudinal analysis i.e. analysis of changes in behaviour over time with the same group of people, permitting the detection of individual, participant-level changes between waves rather than aggregate-level changes.
The first survey took place between May and June 2020, the second during July-August 2020, and the third during November-December 2020.

 


The author(s)

  • Ben Marshall Public Affairs
  • Lore Bizgan Public Affairs
  • Glenn Gottfried Public Affairs

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