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The future of public transport?

With people heeding government calls for essential travel only and working from home becoming the norm, companies fear public transport use will never return to pre-pandemic levels. Lucy Douglas reports

Economic analysisSpring of 2020 brought bad news for public transport companies. As the UK came to a standstill with the COVID-19 pandemic, there was a clear message from government: avoid using trains and buses unless absolutely essential.

During lockdown, passenger numbers fell to a fraction of their usual levels. In April, National Rail use was 5% of the expected figure, while London Underground use was also at 5% between 28 March and 3 May.