Figures on people searching for walking directions tell a similar story: from 50.92 per cent on May 13, to 79.38 per cent of the baseline level by May 30.
On May 29, the level of people looking for driving directions had jumped to 84.43 per cent – the highest since the start of the lockdown.
That grew steadily: by May 22 – three days before Cummings’s unapologetic press conference on the May 25 – the level of searches had grown back to almost 72 per cent of what it was back in January.
On May 13, the day the government eased the lockdown rules, the number of users asking for driving directions was still only 55 per cent of what it was in January 2020, pre-coronavirus.
In London, for instance, the average congestion level in the 12 days preceding Cummings’s press conference – May 13 to May 24 – was 22.5 (meaning it would take 22.5 per cent longer to finish a journey than on a day with free-flowing traffic); in the May 25 to May 31 period, that had grown to 23.7.