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How many people are using public transport despite lockdown

How many people are using public transport despite lockdown

Published by the Pirate FM News Team at 2:20pm 16th April 2020. (Updated at 4:00pm 18th April 2020)

People in Cornwall have been tempted back onto public transport despite the continuing lockdown rules, data from Google suggests – but journeys are still below normal levels.

With national figures showing a similar rise in journeys, First Secretary of State Dominic Raab, acting in place of Boris Johnson, urged the nation to continue to follow government advice on social distancing.

In the second report of its kind, Google used location data to chart trends in people's movement in the home, retail and recreation establishments, grocery stores and pharmacies, public transport hubs and parks and green spaces.

In Cornwall, footfall increased in all five of the categories outside of the home in the six weeks to April 5 compared to the six weeks to March 29.

Both reports used the five-week period between January 3 and February 6 as a baseline to compare people’s movements.

The biggest change was in public transport hubs such as bus and train stations

Google's figures previously showed footfall had fallen by 66%, but the latest data shows visits are now only down 61% compared to usual.

Speaking after the publication of the second Google report, Dominic Raab MP said everyone who stayed home had helped protect the NHS and save lives, but that "we must keep going".

He added that the measures will have to stay in place until we have moved beyond the peak of cases, as it was too early to say conclusively if they had worked yet.

"The most important thing right now is that people continue to follow the Government’s guidance until we’ve got the evidence that the virus is firmly under control. We mustn’t give the coronavirus a second chance to kill more people and hurt our country. I know it’s tough going. But this is a team effort, and we’ll only defeat this virus for good if we all stay the course."

             Dominic Raab, First Secretary of State 

Across the UK, the Google data shows an increase in footfall in each category outside the home.

The biggest increase in movement was seen in parks where visits rose from 52% below average to 29%.

The full results for Cornwall are:

  • Trips to retail and recreation establishments had been 85% below normal, but have since increased to 84%
  • Visits to parks and green spaces had been 54% below average, but have since increased to 50%
  • Footfall in grocery stores and pharmacies had been 53% below normal, but have since increased to 49%
  • Public transport use, which had been 66% below the baseline, has since increased to 61%
  • Workplaces had seen a 56% drop, but have since increased to 54%

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