UBDC researchers comment on the 'new normal' for transport post-lockdown
Dr David McArthur and Dr Jinhyun Hong were interviewed for an article on The National website.
The piece, entitled 'Call for cyclists and pedestrians to be prioritised post-lockdown', examines how we will get around towns and cities in Scotland once the current lockdown has been lifted.
Dr David McArthur, UBDC's Associate Director for Training and Capacity Building and Senior Lecturer in Transport Studies, commented that fears around returning to using public transport could lead people to act in one of two ways, saying:
“The question is will we continue to see the increase in walking and cycling we’ve seen during lockdown continue?...Will people choose that way to get to work? Or will everyone suddenly want to get back in the car, that little safe box they can be locked in?”
David also suggested that local authorities should seek to promote active travel by closing some roads to cars, to make people feel safer, and also lowering the speed limit to 20mph on other routes.
“In the short term I am sure you could reduce traffic to prioritise cyclists and pedestrians, possibly closing roads on a temporary basis and then put in some nice infrastructure later...In George Square in Glasgow they were looking at closing some of the roads and only having public transport on others.”
Dr Jin Hong, who leads UBDC's Transport and Infrastructure research and is a Senior Lecturer in Transportation Planning, commented that we should learn from other countries and build confidence in the safety of public transport, rather than abandoning it completely. He also noted:
“One of the biggest lessons is that in South Korea almost everyone wears a mask when they are travelling...It is a very different culture from here. But I think we can adapt that to help our situation.”
The full article is available on The National website.