Skip to main content

Research Repository

Advanced Search

Travel to Milton Park through and beyond the COVID-19 Pandemic

Clark, Ben; Adeel, Muhammad; Parkhurst, Graham


Ben Clark
Associate Professor of Transport Planning and Engineering

Profile Image

Muhammad Adeel
Research Fellow in Transport Analysis



The MultiCAV research and development project, co-funded by Innovate UK and the Centre for Connected and Autonomous Vehicles, was established to deliver sustainable transport services in a ‘Mobility as a Service’ environment. The centrepiece of the project was a series of three phases of electric autonomous bus service trials, first operating on public roads within Milton Park Technology and Science Park, Didcot (Oxfordshire) and later linking to Didcot Parkway railway station. The demonstration services took place in 2023 and were branded to the public as part of the Mi-Link1 suite of transport services. The project was conducted by a consortium which brought together First Bus as lead, Milton Park, Oxfordshire County Council, Nova Modus, Fusion Processing2, Zipabout, and the University of the West of England (UWE Bristol).
The project started in 2018, but the emergence of the Covid-19 pandemic in the first quarter of 2020 created a changed context for the project linked to the physical separation measures introduced to reduce spread of the virus. A work-from-home directive was issued in March 2020 and people were also advised to avoid using public transport systems. This changed context was of particular relevance to the Mi-Link project, as understanding the market potential for shared autonomous transport modes was a core aim of the project.
Hence, the project plan was revised to include a research work-package designed to examine how employee working patterns and perspectives on using shared autonomous transport systems changed over the course of the pandemic.
Data were obtained through the administration and analysis of a three-wave panel survey, and analysis of data from four iterations of a cross-sectional annual travel-to-work survey of employees conducted by Milton Park.
The overall post-pandemic picture is one in which many Milton Park workers could be said to be balancing the best of both worlds - working from home more frequently than before the pandemic, but mixing this with commuting to the workplace throughout the week to complete work activities that require attendance at the workplace and to maintain social contacts. However, the extent to which the behaviour arises from choice and constraint was not clarified by the research.


Clark, B., Adeel, M., & Parkhurst, G. (2024). Travel to Milton Park through and beyond the COVID-19 Pandemic. Bristol: Innovate UK / Centre for Connected and Autonomous Vehicles

Report Type Project Report
Online Publication Date Mar 27, 2024
Publication Date Mar 27, 2024
Deposit Date Apr 3, 2024
Pages 27
Keywords COVID-19 Pandemic, travel behaviour, working patterns, propensity to use public transport
Public URL
Publisher URL