When the pandemic hit in early 2020, a rapid decrease in urban private car use was seen globally. Satellite navigation company TomTom reported that 387 cities across the world experienced a decrease in congestion.
Similarly, a decrease in public transport usage was seen as governments across the world imposed lockdown restrictions. Many millions of people began to work remotely and the decades of technological advances in communications played a vital role in enabling our societies to continue to operate.
However, as restrictions on movements relax in some countries and a return to pre-pandemic mobility patterns starts, many cities are reporting increased congestion levels.
It seems we are at a tipping point and could revert to unsustainable and high carbon modes without clever interventions from national governments. Where people are reluctant to return to the use of public transport, research is showing that a greater focus needs to be placed upon active travel (non-motorised transport such as walking and cycling) and use of electric bikes and scooters.