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Press release


After Corona: Britons prefer to take their car rather than public transport.

  • Outlook: How mobility will change after corona pandemic
  • 1,000 UK citizens surveyed on road traffic behaviour

London. May 14, 2020 – 85 percent of motorists in the UK consider taking an alternative route to avoid traffic jams and congested roads. For less than half, using public transport is an option. This was the result of a survey conducted immediately before the outbreak of the Corona pandemic in March. Once Corona restrictions are finally lifted, public transport will likely be even less popular and traffic congestion will become even worse. For the “Kapsch TrafficCom Index” study, a representative sample of 1,000 citizens was surveyed by a market research institute in the United Kingdom.

Drivers respond to traffic congestion by considering alternative routes (85 percent), changing their departure time (80 percent) or checking travel information before leaving (76 percent). In contrast, less than half of all drivers (42 percent) could imagine leaving their car behind and using public transport instead.

“We expect that public transport will be even less popular for getting from A to B after the Corona pandemic,” says Steve Parsons, Head of UK Sales Kapsch TrafficCom. “Traffic management will have to deal with this.”

Number of cars rose to 32.5 million vehicles.

Increasing traffic volumes and road congestion have been long-term developments preceding the Corona pandemic: a key driver has been the sharp rise in the number of registered cars. The number of licensed cars in the UK rose to 32.5 million vehicles within five years (2014-2018) – an increase of 2 million cars.

“There are technical solutions available today to ensure smooth traffic flow in times of very high traffic volumes,” says Steve Parsons. “Traffic management is based on several pillars and involves linking car-based IT to public traffic guidance systems, controlling traffic lights adaptively or selecting routes collaboratively.”

How to reduce congestion times by a quarter.

As a first option the digital control of traffic lights should be considered. Experience shows that congestion times can be reduced by up to a quarter. The widespread use of SIM cards and vehicle-based GPS also makes it possible to obtain and use real-time traffic data from vehicles. This could significantly improve our understanding of the actual traffic situation on the roads, which in turn could help predict traffic jams. The benefits would be comparable to the introduction of satellites in meteorology, which improved weather forecasting, explains Parsons.

Navigation stops working selfishly.

The exchange of networked vehicle data paves the way for new navigation solutions. Currently route planners and guidance systems still work “selfishly” in that they ignore the responses of other motorists: to avoid traffic jams, the navigation systems suggest the same alternative route to all vehicles. In the future, public traffic control centres should suggest and optimise routes. The public administration's knowledge of road works, events or particular environmental pollution in certain areas can be taken into account when suggesting new routes to the benefit of the community. This allows demand to be controlled in advance (“predictive demand management”).

Congestion: Britons prefer to take their car rather than public transport.

About the survey “Kapsch TrafficCom index”.

The Kapsch TrafficCom index was conducted with the support of a professional market research institute. A total of 9,000 representative participants in nine countries were asked their views on their current traffic situation, road congestion and strategies to improve traffic management: USA (N=1,000), Argentina (N=1,000), Chile (N=1,000), UK (N=1,000), Germany (N=1,000), Austria (N=1,000), France (N=1,000), Spain (N=1,000), Australia (N=1,000).

Kapsch TrafficCom is a provider of intelligent transportation systems in the fields of tolling, traffic management, smart urban mobility, traffic safety and security, and connected vehicles. As a one-stop solutions provider, Kapsch TrafficCom offers end-to-end solutions covering the entire value creation chain of its customers, from components and design to the implementation and operation of systems. The mobility solutions supplied by Kapsch TrafficCom help make road traffic safer and more reliable, efficient, and comfortable in urban areas and on highways while helping to reduce pollution.

Kapsch TrafficCom is an internationally renowned provider of intelligent transportation systems thanks to the many projects it has brought to successful fruition in more than 50 countries around the globe. As part of the Kapsch Group, Kapsch TrafficCom with headquarters in Vienna, has subsidiaries and branches in more than 30 countries. It has been listed in the Prime Market of the Vienna Stock Exchange since 2007 (ticker symbol: KTCG). Kapsch TrafficCom‘s about 5,000 employees generated revenues of EUR 738 million in fiscal year 2018/19.


Press contact:

Carolin Treichl
Executive Vice President Marketing & Communications
Kapsch Aktiengesellschaft
Am Europlatz 2, 1120 Vienna, Austria
P +43 50 811 1710
Markus Karner
Public Relations
Kapsch TrafficCom AG
Am Europlatz 2, 1120 Vienna, Austria
P +43 50 811 1705

Investor contact:

Hans Lang
Investor Relations Officer
Kapsch TrafficCom AG
Am Europlatz 2, 1120 Vienna, Austria
P +43 50 811 1122