Clean commuting trends proving unsustainable, research suggests

Experts are concerned that the pandemic has not had as much of a significant impact on commuting emissions as expected. By Freddie Holmes

The COVID-19 pandemic forced mass shifts in the way people lived and worked, in many cases turning travel patterns on their head overnight. Stay-at-home orders—and eventually work-from-home orders—slashed not only vehicle miles but all kinds of travel. Prior to the recent outbreak of the Omicron variant the return to work had been in full swing, and researchers are concerned that sustainable transportation is no longer front of mind for many commuters.

Speaking during a session at the virtual ZC3 conference hosted by Mobilityways, a group of academic experts convened to discuss the likely impact this might have on society and the environment. While the takeaways are primarily UK-related, they are broadly applicable to most other developed cities in Europe and elsewhere. Described as an “all-star professor panel” by moderator Susan Latham, Account Director at Mobilityways, the panel sought to investigate how travel patterns have changed during the pandemic, and whether those trends were new or if they had simply been accelerated.

“When the pandemic forced

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