PACTS has written (2nd September) to the Secretary of State for Transport to urge the government to inform the public of the full risks of travel by road compared with public transport, and not only those relating to coronavirus.
The letter is published here: PACTS to SoS Covid & PT 02Sept2020.
There is now a unique opportunity to shift to a cleaner, greener, safer transport system. The Government has implemented some supportive polices but public transport is a major concern and threatens this shift.
While road traffic is now almost back to pre-lockdown levels, passenger numbers on bus, tube and train are still well down. This increases congestion and emissions, and works against government’s objectives to promote walking and cycling and safer roads, and to reboot the economy.
Research by RSSB has shown that, even taking account of coronavirus, travel by rail is still safer for the individual than travel by road. This is without taking account of the dangers to other road users, the health impacts and the wider consequences.
There is considerable public confusion about the risks of using public transport, current service levels and travel arrangements. PACTS believes the Government’s previous advice to drive rather than use public transport needs to be dispelled.
PACTS calls for the government to launch a major public transport information campaign. This should include clear information on the full risks of using public transport compared to those of travel by car.
PACTS also supports the call from Transport Focus for the government to ditch the planned 1.6% fares increase in January 2021.
UPDATE: The Secretary of State replied on 14th September. His letter is here: Response fron SoS Covid & PT 14Sept2020.