Traffic levels in lockdown 3 far higher than lockdown 1 – as are public transport journeys

Remember those days back in late March when the first lockdown was implemented? I recall heading to do my shopping and standing in the middle of what was normally a very busy road to take photographs of the unique scene as the sun set – with not a car passing for minutes at a time.

Well, this latest lockdown is nothing like that. And it’s not just anecdotal as TfL data on public transport usage shows that while levels are still well below normal levels, more than three times as many people are using buses and twice as many using the tube compared to the first lockdown.

This may help TfL stagger out their funds until the next bailout is due – though its unlikely to do so. One key issue not covered by many is that TfL’s latest funding package agreed at the 11th hour was not based upon a further lockdown – and there have now been two. How long will TfL’s funds actually last?


On the roads many areas could have passed for a normal day yesterday. There were queues in Greenwich and heavy traffic in places like Kidbrooke.

Of course now we have far more businesses open than in March, with estate agents open alongside religious venues for worship to give two examples. Quite a few churches in SE London at least operate evening services during the week.

Many shops also now offer click and collect – and a fair few now put toilet rolls in the window and claim they are essential.

Lockdown 2 never really worked in London. Cases were actually on the rise before it even ended – so whether this latest effort will achieve its aim remains to be seen.

One issue with a centralised Westminster system calling all the shots is that it cannot – or will not – base decisions on local factors. We’ve seen that with schools and public health.

And keeping a sleepy rural church open is a bit different to a London mega-church that could have hundreds of visitors at any one time. But Westminster wants ever more power so don’t expect that to change. Current events have shown that while local knowledge is often better than centralised control, Westminster if anything will use it to grab more power.



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J Smith

I've lived in south east London most of my life growing up in Greenwich borough and working in the area for many years. The site has contributors on occasion and we cover many different topics. Living and working in the area offers an insight into what is happening locally.

4 thoughts on “Traffic levels in lockdown 3 far higher than lockdown 1 – as are public transport journeys

  • I can see Burnt Ash Road from my window and traffic is light. I had intended to go into Lewisham town centre, but with the big Sainsbury’s being a short walk away it made little sense.

    The March lockdown closed all but essential businesses, but the last one saw more open and with this one hardware and garden centres are not required to close. We cannot put covid behind without the co-operation of the populace. It is far too soon to pin any hope on the vaccine because not enough people have been innoculated.

  • The nail salon up the road from me is open behind a shut door so they can deny it if police knock! The amount of cars, buses and vans driving past are just as many as any normal day? I would like to see anyone caught not adhering to the rules, be made to clean wards and load people who have died on to the refrigerated containers, after all according to them the virus doesn’t really exist?

    • Firstly DWW let me say that I am *not* ‘having a go’ at you – I’m just getting beyond frustrated at the whole situation.

      This is crazy – I know businesses cannot afford to close, *but*, I really do despair that if we keep having these seeming innocuous infringements we are never going to get out of this situation and we will not get things under control (and ensure our NHS does not ‘implode’) and help the vaccination programme gain some traction.

      What’s more important, getting somebody getting their nails done or their life and the life of others?!

      • I was merely pointing out that nothing seems to change no matter how many tiers they put us in? People still try to get round the rules because they don’t have strong enough deterrants in place? I have so many in my family both in the front line and key workers and I myself am clinically very vulnarable, Like you I am also extremely frustrated, to say the least, with the care free way some are acting? I haven’t even seen my son for over a year! I agree with you it’s stupid to risk yourself and your loved ones just to have a manicure! People should stop caring about the trivial things and work toward getting rid of this da**ed virus!


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