Recovery, Renewal, Resilience

Lessons for Resilience

Consider the impact of COVID-19 on commuter behaviour

Although home-based working has become the norm for a large percentage of the population, many workers have had to be physically present in their usual workplace. Many who have had to travel to workplaces during the pandemic have changed their mode of transport due to potential infection risks, delays and inconvenience due to cancelled or reduced public transport - i.e. they have changed their commute from public transport to private cars or bicycles. This has reduced their travel time, especially as traffic volumes are below pre-pandemic levels. Consider:

  • That traffic congestion and the demand for parking space could increase dramatically as restrictions ease and more people opt for private transport, which may lead to increases in:
    • Infrastructure maintenance costs on roads and motorways
    • Negative environmental impacts, e.g. pollution
    • Road traffic accidents and increased risk to cyclists and pedestrians, plus loss of public space, which may reduce the number of people who choose to cycle or walk
    • Costs and challenges for freight and delivery services
  • A travel awareness communication campaign, prior to an ease of restrictions:
    • Raise awareness of the benefits of sustainable travel for improving air quality and reducing pollution
    • Promote the health and well-being benefits of 'active transport' such as cycling
    • Communicate the stringent safety measures in place on public transport to increase confidence and encourage people to travel by bus/train
  • Draw on learning from previous crises to predict likely behaviours and inform policies that are fit for purpose, e.g. following the 2008 economic crisis, increased traffic increased congestion (Madrid, Spain)
  • Expand and improve cycling and walking space and infrastructure around workplaces
  • In cities, reduce speed limits to allow pedestrians and cyclists to be more confident and allow for social distancing
  • Promote and expand schemes such as 'Cycle2Work' by removing spending caps and allowing people to by bikes through the scheme that are appropriate and relevant for them (see TMB Issue 7):
    • Introduce a reimbursement scheme to reward cycling commuters, e.g. Netherlands offer 0.19 cent (euro) per kilometre cycled to work, or interest-free loans to purchase bikes
    • Trial an e-bike hire scheme in cities, e.g. Leicester (UK)
  • Review congestions charge policies and assess if they are appropriate for post-COVID activity
  • Introduce new policies, e.g. workplace parking levy, a charge on employers who provide workplace parking (Nottingham City Council, UK)
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Consider a targeted contact tracing programme to support the regeneration of live entertainment events
Economic strategy

The live music and entertainment industry has been heavily affected by the pandemic, with the majority of live events cancelled in 2020. A targeted contact tracing programme could enable the return of live entertainments events and keep the public safe, by identifying and containing a spread of the virus quickly. The contribution of the live entertainment industry to the economy is vast, and critical for GDP, generating employment and attracting tourism. Consider:

  • Contact tracing as a targeted initiative to enable the return of live entertainment
  • Scope costs of such an initiative and assess affordability:
    • Consider regional collaboration to lower costs
    • Seek funding or grant support, e.g. Arts Councils
  • Establish and train a dedicated events contact tracing team to:
    • Provide contact tracing services
    • Develop educational materials for events companies, their employees, and customers
    • Provide on-site environmental health consulting to assist events businesses and venues in being COVID-safe
    • Support businesses in scheduling appointments at testing facilities
  • Design an incentive and enforcement scheme to encourage commitment to a contact tracing programme and the implementation of COVID-19 safety measures
  • Introduce an audit and certification programme to approve live events (see TMB Issue 28 for guidance on certification programmes)
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Consider how to support children who have reached the age of leaving care during and after the pandemic
Vulnerable people

Data from the EU shows that 18 year olds who are in care are more likely to be not in employment, education or training, and experience higher levels of social exclusion or homelessness. COVID-19 has exacerbated their financial insecurity, poor mental health, and limited support networks as they transition to independent living. In addition to assessing the capacity of social work provision (TMB Issue 6), consider:

  • Formally designate people who are leaving care as belonging to a vulnerable group
  • Extend social protection programmes to make support services, such as financial support for food and accommodation, immediately available to those who leave care
  • Ensure social services maintain regular personalised contact with those who leave care to advise them of what support is available during COVID-19
  • Increase the capacity and flexibility of online communication with those who leave care, including availability of support forums
  • Increase the capacity of mental health services, including outreach services and crisis support teams, by drawing on trained volunteers and enhance training in psychological first aid and safeguarding
  • Partner with private care agencies, non-governmental organisations, corporate partners and care professionals to establish support and training/employment programmes
    • Establish a mentor programme to strengthen the support network of care leavers during their transition from care to independent living (e.g. ProgramaMentor, Galicia, Spain)
    • Provide employment advice to those who leave care, such as guidance on CV writing via an online workshop
    • Host virtual career or industry insights days to support those who leave care in making decisions on their next steps regarding education and employment
    • Establish targeted education and employment support for those who leave care, such as practical skills training on computing, email writing, giving presentations, and interviews; plus volunteering opportunities, work experience and apprenticeships for when lockdowns and restrictions end
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Consider how stigma can develop after a person has been released from COVID-19 quarantine or treatment
Vulnerable people

It is critical that governments and civil society proactively combat stigma and discrimination through regular and transparent communication on the transmission of the virus and other aspects of the pandemic, cautioning against laying blame or accusations against any group of people.

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