What's with the traffic in Hackney?

What's with the traffic in Hackney?

What's with the traffic in Hackney?

Rush hour has always been very much a part of life if you live in London. With more than eight million people trying to get to work at the same time, using the same roads and public transport, there were always going to be a few bottlenecks. Areas such as Hackney, which are enormously popular with families as well as professionals, have more than their fair share of congestion. However, this year has been one of new precedents and for the first time in a long time Hackney streets were quiet during the rush hour when lockdown was in place.

A much quieter year so far

Road data from the Department for Transport earlier this year identified that rush hour delays had been considerably reduced. For example, in June this year there was a 21.4 second delay per vehicle mile compared to 56.7 seconds in February. The evening rush hour dropped from 63.6 seconds in February to a 25.8 second delay per vehicle mile travelled in June. There are some clear reasons for this, including the closing of schools during the spring and summer, as well as the large numbers of adults working from home.

The big change: September

If you live in Hackney then you may well have noticed this lull in traffic and maybe even enjoyed it. The streets were certainly emptier and there were fewer cars on the road as more people worked from home and children were home schooled. However, recent data suggests that this is changing once again - and you only have to venture out during 8am and 9am on the streets of Hackney to see this for yourself. According to the Office for National Statistics 20% of people are still working from home - with this figure potentially set to rise now that we are once again being asked to switch to home working wherever possible. And yet car volumes are up 55% compared to the week commencing August 24th - so what's causing it?

The school rush is the culprit

According to RAC Insurance it's the reopening of schools that can be identified as the reason why the traffic in Hackney, as well as other parts of London and the UK, has suddenly gone up. Commuting levels remain relatively sedate and aren't being identified as the cause of more vehicles on the road in the mornings. Instead, it's parents taking their children to schools and nurseries that are responsible for the significant increase in traffic at this time. This has highlighted how much more we are likely to use our cars for those journeys that we need to make, even in a big city like London where transport is plentiful. Due to the risks of COVID transmission few people are keen to share spaces with others right now and the result is a substantial spike in the number of cars on our roads.

We are letting agents in Hackney and we, like you, keep a careful eye on COVID related changes and how this might affect our borough. This latest one is certainly one to watch.


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