Get back to work says government, as staycation trend identified as road safety concern

Published:  17 July, 2020

Government advice on working from home is shifting towards encouraging remote workers back into the office, and with public transport still being shunned and millions of Brits looking to holiday in the UK this summer, garages could see a massive surge in work to complement the expected increase resulting from the end of the MOT extension.

At a press conference this morning (Friday 17 July), Prime Minister Boris Johnson said: "Instead of government telling people to work from home, we're going to give employers, more discretion and ask them to make decisions about how their staff who work, safely. That could mean, of course, continuing to work from home which is one way of working safely and which has worked for many employers and employees.”

The P.M added: "Whatever employers decide they should consult closely with their employees, and only ask people to return to their place of work. If it is, as we really put our society and economy, it's right that we give employers more discretion."

The power to impose local lockdowns for addressing COVID-19 spikes will be increased for councils as well, Boris Johnson indicated, with implications for many businesses, including garages within local-lockdown areas. "These powers will enable local authorities to act more quickly in response to outbreaks where speed is paramount," he said.

When lockdown was first eased, it was explained that mini-lockdowns could target individual businesses as well as whole areas.

Meanwhile, with many people wary of public transport, garages could see business rise. Traffic has been increasing steadily since lockdown. At the end of June, it had reached levels comparable to the late 1980s and early 1990s according to the AA. At the time, the motoring organisation also predicted that traffic could be back to normal by the end of July.

Another factor that could impact on customer levels for workshop businesses could be a trend towards staycations. New research from Kwik Fit suggests that while only 15% of UK adults are heading overseas for holidays, 13.1 million are looking to use their vehicle to get away for a UK break this summer.

Unfortunately, 3 million of those using their car to holiday this summer admitted to never carrying out any safety checks before getting on the road.   Only 54% drivers planning to travel with their car this summer say they check tyre pressure, just 50% monitor screen wash levels, and only 49% say they will look at oil levels before setting off.

More seriously, despite the government ending MOT extension on 1 August, only 19% of drivers affected say they will get a fresh MOT ahead of their trip.

Kwik Fit Communications Director Roger Griggs said: “It’s clear from this research that the roads are going to be extremely busy so the last thing anyone will want is the added hassle of car trouble.  Carrying out a few checks on a vehicle before travelling a distance could prevent any unwanted delays on the side of the road. Our centres offer a free car health check for anyone not comfortable doing it themselves.”

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