Commercial vehicle traffic halved on UK roads during coronavirus lockdown

The hours spent on the road by UK commercial vehicle drivers fell by 55% between mid-February and April due to lockdown measures implemented in response to the COVID-19 pandemic, but usage is starting to bounce back as measures ease, new figures have revealed.

Figures from the Verizon Connect Reveal platform found that the UK was one of the hardest hit nations in Europe in terms of traffic during lockdown. France was the hardest hit, with recorded hours spent on the road dropping by 58% in the same time period, followed by the UK and Spain (54%).

The smallest reduction recorded was in Germany, which saw an 11% reduction in hours driven by commercial vehicles, a comparatively smaller impact to the average of 50% across seven European countries.

However, since lockdown measures have started to ease, the amount of commercial vehicle traffic on the road has begun to rebound. But again, there is wide discrepancy between countries.

For example, while France had the biggest reduction in traffic, it has also had the biggest turnaround, Data from April 7 – May 5 shows an increase of 198% in response to the easing of lockdown measures in the country. Germany also had an increase in excess of 100% in that time period.

But in countries where lockdown measures were eased later, including the UK and Ireland, the rebound in traffic volume was much slower, at 22% and 24% respectively.

Derek Bryan, VP EMEA at Verizon Connect, said: “Fleet-based businesses play a crucial role supporting almost every industry, the dramatic drop in hours driven just demonstrates the widespread impact that COVID-19 has had on economies across Europe. But the positive is that the data shows green shoots for fleet industries, and economies starting to recover.”

Dan Parton
Dan Parton
Dan Parton is a former editor of Truck & Driver, the UK’s biggest selling truck magazine. He is now writes for The Van Expert and The Truck Expert.

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