The government has asked rail operators to increase services as more people return to work.
A Department for Transport spokesman told Facilitate that the government has “asked operators to increase service levels ahead of schools returning in September, ensuring current excellent reliability levels are maintained while providing more space for social distancing and extra capacity for the future”.
He added that the government had “taken decisive action to keep services running during these unprecedented times, and with passengers returning as the economy restarts, our intervention means the railway is ready and able to support the national recovery from Covid”.
Last week, Facilitate reported that the government was considering a national part-time flexible season ticket – supported by rail companies and transport lobby groups – for workers as more chose to work remotely owing to the Covid threat. This proposal is still being considered.
Separately, research has shown that homeworkers are likely to have “unsustainable travel patterns”, according to academics. Dr Hannah Budnitz MRTPI from the University of Birmingham with Professor Lee Chapman, also from the University of Birmingham, and Dr Emmanouil Tranos from the University of Bristol won the Early Career Researcher Award at the 2020 Royal Town Planning Institute (RTPI) Awards for Research Excellence.
The paper, Telecommuting and Other Trips: An English ~Case Study, examines the implications of non-work travel on the sustainability of telecommuters’ travel patterns by comparing the travel behaviours of those who work from home at least once a week with other working adults.
The researchers conclude that by proactively addressing the accessibility of non-work destinations, planners can help telecommuters travel more sustainably.
One of the judges said the “counter-intuitive findings of the research concluded that the impact of online access to work, which allows for living in more dispersed locations, results in more unsustainable transport patterns, including increased car dependency as well as reduced physical activity”.