DecarboN8 Covid-19 impact survey results in full

by Richard Walker

illustration of clipboard and pencil

Last month DecarboN8 surveyed our network members. We asked what you would like DecarboN8 to focus on and how you would like to interact with us during the coronavirus lockdown. We are now making those survey results available in full. 63 network members responded, and provided valuable feedback. The message we took from your responses was that you want us to be an important voice in shaping the future decarbonisation agenda. In the past couple of weeks we have launched a call to support evaluation of road space reallocation, started a series of virtual workshops on making the carbon case for shared mobility with CoMoUK and launched a series of webinars on Future Transport Fuels. Lots more to follow on this so watch this space…

We also dipped a toe into the questions of how the lockdown has affected transport demand in different places across the country where DecarboN8 network members are, and how it is impacting the on workload and prospects for the organisations you work for. 47 of you kindly responded to those questions. 70% of respondents were based in the North of England, and 30% from the rest of UK, which gives a feel for the focus and reach of our network.

We are publishing the survey results in full today (postcodes and free text answers have been removed for confidentiality). You can read or download the survey results here:

Transport demand impact

empty rail station

The survey provided some early anecdotal support to reports that more people are cycling and walking, as well as that car traffic and public transport use was drastically down in neighbourhoods across the country.

The free text comments also confirmed that DecarboN8 network members don’t brook being asked silly questions: “I don’t know what traffic levels are like in my nearest city centre as I have stayed at home as requested by the government.”

DecarboN8 network members will be pleased to hear that Greg Marsden and Jillian Anable are launching a new project to investigate the impact of COVID-19 on transport demand in a much more scientifically rigorous manner. We will publish the details of this work shortly – keep an eye out for it by signing up to our newsletter and following us on social media.

Economic impact

Boden storefront with the words "Be kind, be safe" and "We will prevail"

The post-coronavirus economic recession – which the Bank of England is now predicting will exceed any recession seen for over 300 years – will dominate the agenda going forward as we start to come out of lockdown. DecarboN8 will be making the case for a “climate smart recovery”.

Our survey provided some early corroboration of the insight that the impact of the post-coronavirus economic recession is going to vary across people and organisations: 9% expecting their organisation’s workload/income/sales to go up in the year to come, 55% expecting it to go down, and 19% of wise respondents saying it was too early to know.

I undertook some cross-tabulations of the survey data to see if any place-based geography emerged regarding coronavirus immediate impact or future prospects. In fact, no strong geographical pattern emerges according to region/nation or population size of place respondents live in.

If you have any queries about the survey, please don’t hesitate to contact the DecarboN8 team.