Tube network getting busier as people return to work

There was a period at the height of lockdown when you could easily see an empty Tube carriage, even at rush hour.

Now, as restrictions on going out have eased, the transport network is getting busier.

Pictures show how London Underground looks more like it did pre-pandemic, other than the addition of face masks, which are now mandatory for those without a valid reason not to wear them.

It comes after Boris Johnson told employers that the recommendation for people to work from home was no longer in place, and instead they should decide for themselves whether they wanted staff to come into the office.

As more people are asked to come back to their desks, they are likely to need to rely on the public transport network unless they have a car or live close enough to walk or cycle.

Figures from the Department for Transport show that last Monday, National Rail passenger numbers were at 25% of pre-coronavirus levels from one year ago, and Tube numbers were at 28%.

It is still much less busy than before, but creeping back up compared to the height of lockdown when Tube usage dropped to just 4% compared to a year previously.

Data shows people are still more likely to use their car, as road traffic has now almost recovered to levels seen before the pandemic across Great Britain.

The latest two weekends with data, up to August 9, saw more road traffic than there was at the same point last year, with on average 102%.

However, during the week there is still less traffic on the road with an average of 89% on the last ten weekdays.

Overall in the last two weeks, traffic has returned to 93% of pre-pandemic levels.

People were also much more likely to choose to cycle. In the last two weeks of data available, up until August 3, there was an increase of 46% compared to the year before.

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