Final weekly summary (13 July 2020): the impact of COVID-19 on transport and mobility

By Patrick Troy / Updated: 13 Jul 2020

Dear Eltis readers, This will be our last detailed weekly update of the impact of COVID-19 on transport and mobility. Important news will still feature on our COVID-19 tab on the homepage and if you would like to keep updated with more COVID news visit the COVID Mobility Works platform and the SLOCAT partnership.

The Portuguese city of Leiria is planning to double the network of bicycle lanes and give more space to pedestrians. Scottish cities Edinburgh and Glasgow are also encouraging cycling by offering free bicycle hire for the first 30 minutes of every journey. This covers more than 1,300 bicycles across 200 bicycle stations and will last for 14 days in Edinburgh and 8 weeks in Glasgow. To encourage a long-term increase in cycling Edinburgh plans to offer a discount for four-month bicycle passes.

The UK #BikeIsBest cycling campaign has shown year on year increases in cycling, with significant rises during COVID-19. In Liverpool they found a 161% rise in cycle trips from May 2019 to May 2020. In Manchester trips are up 127% and London and Birmingham have seen rises of 54% and 55% respectively. The campaign has used billboards to advertise these rises in an effort to normalise cycling.

In Madrid, the Ministry of Transport has put in place a University Access Assessment plan to guarantee student access to six universities. Around 40,000 students are expected to return for the examination period. In order to keep them safe, the plan will include mandatory masks and hygiene measures as well enforcing of physical distancing. More buses will run on the busy university lines and extra shuttle services will operate to take students directly to the university from the station at the start and end of examinations.

The Île-de-France region is collaborating with Île-de-France Mobilités, Paris La Défense, Grand Paris Sud, Plaine Commune, RATP and Transilien SNCF to provide residents with access to information on measures to be adopted to ease potential overcrowding on public transport, such as teleworking, flexible shift schedules and alternatives to public transport.

In the UK, Oxfordshire is partnering with Zipabout to inform bus passengers of disruptions and crowding, as well as providing information on alternative routes. They are also identifying key workers and essential journeys to help transport operators to effectively plan timetables.

The UK government has confirmed that there are no current plans for a scrappage scheme to encourage people to scrap older polluting cars and buy new electric ones.

Drivers across Europe have been using the Galileo Green Lane app, which uses the Galileo satellites to monitor and support the free movement of freight across land borders. Border waiting times are significantly shortened by offering operators and drivers traffic flow information, thus enabling more efficient journey planning.

For more in-depth information see the original articles on the following websites:

For a detailed list of online resources, guidance materials, and COVID-19 related transport and mobility discussions, please see links in the Eltis article Maintaining essential mobility during a pandemic.

See also the previous weekly summaries produced:

Photo Credit: © Atlas Studio / - no permission to re-use image(s) without separate licence from Shutterstock.