So, the government and Public Health England (PHE) are banging on about this uptick in road traffic. Bear in mind, the main person talking about this is Professor Yvonne Doyle, a qualified doctor and medical director at PHE.
It would be comforting in these times to have people who one thought had a good grasp of statistics in government, maybe a transport minister who understands traffic patterns who can talk to one of the 18,000 minions working with him to see if there might be a reason before tweeting about it.
Anyone who understands stats knows that you don’t base anything on 1 data point. Maybe there’s a freak reason for it. There’s never a need to get worried. People running anything should know that. “OK, that’s odd”. Make a cup a tea and come back to it the next day and see if it’s still happening.
But I suspect this can be dismissed by something we all know very well: the roads are generally busier on Mondays. That uptick is from Sunday to Monday. If you look closely, it’s roughly where Thursday and Friday the previous week were. This is normal. This is why the congestion charge doesn’t apply on weekends: London’s congestion problem is mostly Monday to Friday.
Now, OK, this hasn’t been seen for a few weeks, but I suspect this effect has been masked by more and more people switching to working from home, but at a certain point, you’re going to hit a base level which includes only the necessary workers, and for a lot of them, they still skew towards Monday to Friday. Your bins are collected on a weekday, farmers markets take place on weekdays, you won’t get a PC repaired on a weekend and so forth.
Seriously, why do we hand over a combined £8.7bn to PHE and the DoT when they can’t do stats properly?
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