Get off the road! Heads of health warn public to stay at home after ‘over’ INCREASE in road traffic despite closure and police efforts to stop unnecessary travel
- Official figures show that there has been a sharp rise in recent days
- In some cities like London there are signs of heavy traffic
- Prof Yvonne Doyle: ‘The message here is really that people should stay at home’
- Coronavirus symptoms: what are they and should you see a doctor?
British people were reminded to stay off the road unless absolutely necessary today, after figures showed that traffic levels have risen in recent days.
Figures from the Traffic Department show that there has been a surge in recent days despite rules telling the public to stay at home as much as possible.
It is unclear what the driver is, but there are signs of heavy traffic in some cities such as London, despite requests to stay at home.
At the Coronavirus daily press conference, Yvonne Doyle, health protection director for Public Health England said: ‘(It is a) somewhat worrying trend, as we have seen an increase in car traffic.
‘The message here is actually that people should stay at home and that most of them do exactly what you can see from the rapid decrease in public transport.
This morning’s photos showed heavy traffic on a main road in Wapping, East London, entering the capital during rush hour despite the UK being in a lockdown
At the coronavirus daily press conference, Yvonne Doyle, director of health protection for public health in England, said: ‘(It is a) somewhat worrying trend as we have seen an increase in motor vehicle traffic
“So everyone has to do that, the message here is: we have to save lives and protect the NHS. So please stay at home. ‘
This morning’s photos showed heavy traffic on a main road in Wapping, East London, entering the capital during rush hour, despite the UK being stuck.
London has more traffic than other major European capitals – indicating that despite the blockage of the coronavirus, motorists still make unnecessary journeys.
Drivers in the British capital don’t leave the road as quickly as their counterparts in other European capitals – and traffic is higher than in New York, figures show.
The analysis found that, on average, 20 percent of London’s roads were congested between Monday and Friday last week, up from the usual 40 percent.
The number of vehicles on the roads in the capital and across Great Britain fell sharply last month as people follow government guidelines to stop nonessential travel.
The reduction also reflects advice to work from home and the closure of schools, pubs, restaurants, theaters, gyms and most stores in the past two weeks.
But traffic in London has not fallen as quickly as in Paris, New York and Madrid, where congestion eased from the usual 40 percent to about 5 percent last week.
In London, the figure has only fallen to 20 percent, according to research from the Financial times with figures from the Dutch-based traffic data company TomTom.
Company Secretary Alok Sharma warned that a ‘dangerous’ second spike could arise if government-imposed social distance measures were lifted too early
At the press conference Company Secretary Alok Sharma warned that a “dangerous” second spike could arise if the government’s social distance measures were lifted too early.
He said: “People across the country will understand why we imposed these restrictions and the Prime Minister was very clear that they were for an initial three week period and we would review them.
“But what’s really important is that if we stop it too soon, there is a chance that the tremendous effort that people across the country have made will be lost and that we may be able to see a dangerous second peak.
“We absolutely want to avoid that.”
Prof Doyle added: ‘I think it is important to say that we look at this through the scientific lens, but also through modeling and through the information we get from clinical cases on how this epidemic is progressing.
‘We are guided by that. Obviously, we want to make the right decision about this at the right time, and we need to review that every week. ‘