London coronavirus chaos: Rush hour road congestion rises by 10 percent in a week | UK | News (Reports)


The snarl-ups caused a total of 527 miles of tailbacks across the city at 9am today with 1,340 separate jams and congestion levels at 66 percent.   GPS data from location technology specialist TomTom showed a 10 percent increase from the 56 percent congestions levels recorded at the same point last week, and up from an average of 43 percent from the same time last year.

The roads were even busier at 8am when congestions levels were recorded at 68 percent, up from 58 percent last week and 63 percent last year.

There was a spike in rush-hour road traffic four weeks ago when schools re-opened after a prolonged coronavirus lockdown and Boris Johnson urged office workers to return to their workplaces.

That figure has fallen since the Prime Minister amended his advice and encouraged people to work from home once again although data from the Office for National statistic revealed almost two thirds of employees still heading into the office.

The ONS said 59 percent of UK adults travelled to their workplace at some stage in the week to September 27, down from 64 per cent the previous week – the highest since records began in May.

It brought to an abrupt halt a recent rise in commuter numbers after Mr Johnson’s U-turn last week on his campaign to get workers back to their offices.

The figures suggest more commuters are heading back to the office but avoiding public transport to do so.

READ MORE: Coronavirus map LIVE: UK cases surpass 500,000 as daily tally soars

Transport for London data shows bus and tube travel is still well down down on pre-pandemic levels with London Underground reporting just 32 percent of normal demand last week and the buses slightly busier with 55 per cent of normal demand.

The findings came after London Mayor Sadiq Khan demanded a £5.65billion bailout to keep Transport for London going after ticket sales declined by 90 per cent.

Mr Khan said the cash was need to keep the capital’s transport system going for the next 18 months.

The request for the financial package came in the mayor’s submission to the Government’s spending review, as passenger numbers continue to plunge due to the coronavirus pandemic-induced strict measures on public transport.

TfL, which relies mostly on income from fares to run tubes, buses and trains, and invest in new projects, had initially secured £1.60billion in Government funding in May for covering a shortfall in revenue until this month.

In July, TfL said it would need extra funding of £2billion for the second half of the year, £300m more than it outlined in an earlier emergency budget, as passenger numbers remained low due to the pandemic.

Mr Khan in his submission has argued income from ticket sales had fallen “around 90 percent as a result of lockdown, and will be nowhere near returning to normal levels as long as social distancing measures are in place”.

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Separately, the mayor has also called for an urgent new package of financial support for retail, hospitality, leisure and cultural sectors which are hit hardest by the pandemic.

Mr Khan has warned London has reached a “very serious tipping point” with coronavirus cases on the rise once again.

A City Hall spokesman said: “The mayor has been clear that we urgently need more testing in the capital so we can properly track the spread of the virus and warned that further restrictions – such as restrictions on households mixing – are likely to be needed very soon.

“He continues to urge all Londoners to be as cautious as possible and play their part in protecting our city.”


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