Leeds Now

Real Journalism by Leeds Hacks

Rise in covid cases causes travel to dwindle

white airplane taking off during daytime
Photo by Andrew Palmer
During the global pandemic travel and traffic as a whole deteriorated significantly throughout Leeds.

Leeds Bradford Airport had a tumultuous drop from 19,500 aircraft in February 2020 to only six and a half thousand in March followed by zero in April through to June.

Interestingly, there had been a steady, consistent decrease in flights starting in August 2019. Despite China not announcing it to the World Health Organisation until 31 December 2019.

The graph clearly shows a correlation between covid cases and the number of flights. For example in October of 2020 there was a spike in both covid cases and flights at Leeds Bradford Airport. This is reciprocated over the new year where December 2020 showed a rise in flights and January 2021 shows an expected rise in cases again.

In unison with the previous examples, June and July 2021 had a rise in both flights and covid cases, cementing the correlation between the two.

There was a pronounced reduction in road traffic from March 2020 to April 2020. This falls right when the first lockdown was implement.

Paradoxically, there is an rise in cyclists in the same monthly period. Suggesting that firstly, there was a certain obedience from the public when told to stay at home, as driving implies a longer distance journey, yet also shows that people were possibly fed up of being cooped indoors and went out for some much-needed exercise.

One cyclist, Phil McGrellis stated: “when the pandemic was at its peak the roads were silent and it was lovely having the freedom out on the roads.”

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