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National Indicator: Traffic Congestion

 Reduce traffic congestion

Indicator Measure
Proportion of driver journeys delayed due to traffic congestion

Current Status
Although the proportion of driver journeys delayed due to congestion increased from 10.8% in 2003 to a peak of 14.3% in 2007, levels have declined since.  The 2015 figure (12.5%) shows an increase on the previous year but is below the 2006 baseline figure of 12.7%.

2003 - 2015

Source: Scottish Household Survey: Travel Diary
The data for this chart is available at the bottom of the page.

Last Update: 27 September 2016
Next Update: September 2017

Reduce traffic congestion

Why is this National Indicator important?
What will influence this National Indicator?
What is the Government's role?
How is Scotland performing?
What more do we know about this National Indicator?
Criteria for recent change
Further information
Who are our partners?
Related Strategic Objectives

Why is this National Indicator important?

We want to create a Scotland that is the most attractive place for doing business in Europe. Longer and unpredictable journey times for cars, freight and public transport users have significant economic impacts (both from higher direct costs of transport and the cost to business of a loss of competitiveness) and cause higher levels of emissions, impairing both local and global air quality as well as contributing to climate change. The natural growth in trade that accompanies increased globalisation and economic growth has created more demands for transport services and this has occurred in the context of limited infrastructure capacity.

What will influence this National Indicator?

The rise in real incomes associated with economic growth influences the increasing demand for personal travel and the ever increasing levels of car ownership that are being witnessed and are expected to continue. Changes in land use patterns and lifestyles have also made a significant contribution, for example the rise in long distance commuting and out-of-town shopping centres. Factors such as road maintenance or construction works, poor weather and accidents, as well as changes in people's sensitivity to delays will influence whether a journey is reported as delayed by congestion.

What is the Government's role?

To set the framework for the provision of sustainable, integrated and cost-effective public transport and walking and cycling infrastructure as alternatives to the car, connecting people, places and work across Scotland and to manage the trunk road network to improve journey times and connections between our cities and towns and our global markets to tackle congestion and provide access to key markets. We aim to decouple ownership and usage of cars by persuading car users to use other modes and are using Intelligent Transport Systems to manage road traffic on the trunk road network. We also are planning a pilot scheme for bus hard shoulder running to detailed design stage. We are encouraging modal integration and working with local authorities to ensure every effort is made to fast track enhanced park and ride provision by bus and/or train.

How is Scotland performing?

The Scottish Household Survey Travel Diary shows that 12.5% of driver journeys were perceived to have been delayed due to traffic congestion during 2015, an increase of 0.8 percentage points from 11.7% in 2014.

The data is available at the bottom of the page.

What more do we know about this National Indicator?

Experience of congestion during car travel is strongly related to the time and purpose of travel, particularly for those travelling during peak commuting periods. Therefore, looking at demographic characteristics in isolation is not a sensible analysis. For example, older people are less likely to be affected by congestion than younger people as they travel less frequently during busy periods.

A persons likelihood to experience congestion during car travel is also linked to how built up the area is, with those living in ‘remote rural’ and ‘small remote towns’ being less likely to experience congestion than those in other areas.

The proportion of journeys delayed by congestion peaked in 2007 and has since fallen across Scotland.

The data is available at the bottom of the page.

Criteria for recent change

The evaluation is based on: any difference within +/- 1 percentage points of last year's figure suggests that the position is more likely to be maintaining than showing any change. A decrease in the perception of delays of 1 percentage points or more suggests the position is improving; whereas an increase of 1 percentage points or more suggests the position is worsening.

Further Information

For information on general methodological approach, please click here.

Scotland Performs Technical Note

Who are our partners?

Cycling Scotland

Local Authorities

Police

Regional Transport Partnerships

Sustrans

Transport Operators

Related Strategic Objectives

Greener

Safer and Stronger

Wealthier and Fairer

View National Indicator Data

Downloadable document:

Title:Reduce traffic congestion
Description:Reduce traffic congestion
File:Traffic Congestion [XLS, 549.4 kb: 26 Sep 2016]
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