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Lockdown traffic trends: Less congestion as work rhythms change - research

31 March 2021 7:09 AM

Vehicle tracking specialist Tracker commissioned research into how the lockdown impacted vehicle movement during the lockdown.

Cape Town's roads pre-2020 hard lockdown were becoming more and more congested, with increasing travel times for commuters.

The research into how the lockdown impacted vehicle movement during the lockdown, used Tracker's own vehicle tracking data as well as analytics provided by Lightstone, a privately held real estate investment company.

While the roads are definitely quieter now as people have taken to remote working will remain this continue in the long?

Refilwe Moloto speaks to Executive for Corporate Development at Tracker Connect Colin Hundermark.

What we saw in April 2020 which was the hard lockdown is total activity dropped to about 30 to 40% compared to pre-Covid.

Colin Hundermark, Executive for Corporate Development - Tracker Connect

There was a fairly significant jump in May (2020) back to about 70%. Then October, November last year we saw us returning to normal, probably at around 90-95% of pre-Covid levels.

Colin Hundermark, Executive for Corporate Development - Tracker Connect

The data is able to distinguish between consumer and business travel, he notes.

Hundermark says the latter part of 2020 into early 2021 indicates that consumers are travelling slightly less in terms of distances than they have done historically.

Our hypothesis is certainly that people are settling into new work from home, work from the office, work from anywhere type of rhythms - and are making less trips.

Colin Hundermark, Executive for Corporate Development - Tracker Connect

The result is less build-up and time spent in congestion nodes, he concludes.

This decrease in congestion around those nodes is evident between Somerset West and the city in the Western Cape.

Most people will attest to increased congestion, certainly up until March last year and peak times were more intense and longer.

Colin Hundermark, Executive for Corporate Development - Tracker Connect

Now employers are being more hospitable to flexible working hours.

Colin Hundermark, Executive for Corporate Development - Tracker Connect

The other important issue, he says, is the Western Cape has fewer arterial roads than other parts of the country.

He suggests this has given government some breathing room to get some of the fundamentals right regarding public transport.

Listen to the interview in the audio below:




31 March 2021 7:09 AM

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