People visiting UK public transport hubs have dropped 75% since COVID-19 outbreak says Google data

People visiting train stations, bus stops and other forms of public transport hubs have dropped by 75% in the UK since the COVID-19 outbreak started, according to Google data.

The global tech firm anonymised data from mobile apps like Google Maps to trace people's locations, giving an insight into the public’s movements.

Google have published the early release of their COVID-19 Community Mobility Reports to provide insights into what has changed in response to work from home and other policies aimed at flattening the curve of the pandemic.

In the UK the data shows a 85% reduction in retail and recreation visits made to places like restaurants, cafes, shopping centres and other public places of interest. There has also been a 52% reduction in park and beach visits and a 55% drop in workplace visits.

The data is also segmented into regions within the UK. Greater London shows an even bigger drop with 80% of people no longer visiting key public transport hubs and 62% of people no longer travelling to their workplace.

Credit: Data and graphs from Google

In a statement released by Google’s Geo SVP Jen Fitzpatrick and Chief Health Officer, Karen DeSalvo, it read: “The reports use aggregated, anonymised data to chart movement trends over time by geography, across different high-level categories of places such as retail and recreation, groceries and pharmacies, parks, transit stations, workplaces, and residential.

“We’ll show trends over several weeks, with the most recent information representing 48-72 hours prior.

“Given the urgent need for this information, where possible we will also provide insights at the regional level. In the coming weeks, we will work to add additional countries and regions to ensure these reports remain helpful to public health officials across the globe looking to protect people from the spread of COVID-19.”

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