June 2020

Temporary Changes in Travel Behaviour Unsurprisingly, the volume of traffic on local roads has dropped. To start with, though, there was the expected modest seasonal climb associated with late February & early March 2020. Volumes then fell back on and after March 9th. This proved to be short-lived: between March 12th and March 16th, stockpiling resulted in a steep climb. On and following March 17th, however, volumes reduced considerably. After reaching a low point at the end of March 2020, volumes during April were broadly static. They increased markedly in May 2020. Take estimates of the average afternoon peak traffic per hour locally on the A494. Here, comparing the end of April to the first week in May 2020, volumes had increased by a third, with a slight dip during the following week in May. The change in traffic locally on the A494 during the third week of May compared to the corresponding week in April 2020 was an increase of just over 100 per cent. In spite of this significant rise, the span of the afternoon peak period in May 2020 had reduced. In other words, it had become more concentrated. During “normal” times, it is common to see peak traffic extend till after 6.30p.m. to accommodate residents returning from England-way. To late May 2020, however, traffic volumes after 5.30p.m. were considerably down and an hour later very infrequent. In May 2020, very localised traffic within Ruthin itself over this truncated afternoon peak period increased by an estimated 200 per cent, compared to April 2020. Meanwhile, the cost per litre of unleaded petrol has slumped. Initially, at least, this was something to do with OPEC and Russia at a time of unprecedented falls in demand. Unleaded started the year at £1.26 per litre and at press date had dropped to £1.06, the lowest since March 2016.  Finally, Google produced anonymised mobility data at county rather than local level. The graph below shows the changes in trips for groceries during March, April and up to May 16th, 2020 compared to a 2019 baseline.
Archive from 2013 Historic Interest