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Paper 16th September 2003 - TTSAC(03)1

TTSAC ( 03 ) 1 - RECENT AND FORTHCOMING DEVELOPMENTS

1 Introduction

1.1 The purpose of this paper is to inform members of the Committee about recent and forthcoming developments in statistics about some aspects of transport in Scotland. Because the Committee has been set up as part of the Scottish Executive (SE) National Statistics consultation arrangements, this paper covers only the work of the SE Transport Statistics branch, as this is the body whose activities are likely to be influenced most by the advice of the Committee. However, other branches within SE and the Department for Transport (DfT) also have statistics about transport in Scotland, and their representatives at the meeting may wish to mention developments in their areas.

1.2 If you require any further information about any of the points covered in this paper, you are invited to contact:

Frank Dixon

direct line: 0131 244 7254

e-mail: frank.dixon@scotland.gsi.gov.uk

Or, if they prefer, members of the Committee are welcome to raise at the meeting any points which they feel are likely to be of interest to others.

1.3 Members of the Committee should receive a copy of each of the branch's publications within a few days of it being published. Please contact the Secretary if you did not receive a copy of any of the publications listed in Section 2.

2 Developments since the previous T&TSAC meeting

(NB: these notes cover only SE Transport Statistics branch developments)

2.1 Road Accidents Scotland 2001 was published in December 2002. This was the first edition to include in many tables the 1994-98 average levels (the baseline for the casualty reduction targets for 2010). It was also improved in other ways, following a review of its contents and consultation with users through a questionnaire distributed with the previous edition and discussions with the Liaison Group on Road Accident Statistics.

2.2 Household Transport 2001: some SHS results was published in December 2002. We updated the tables on the topics of most interest, added some comparisons of the first three years' figures, and dropped some tables to make room for (a) some more detailed analyses (e.g. of reasons for choice of modes of travel to work and school) and (b) some new analyses (e.g. results from some Transport-related questions that were included for the first time in 2001).

2.3 The branch contributed to the production of Transport Indicators for Scotland, which was published in December 2002 (NB: copies of this were not sent automatically to members of the Committee, because it is not one of the branch's publications, but members were later sent a link to the document). Most of the indicators were based on currently-available data, but a few (e.g. road traffic congestion and access to information about public transport) will require colleagues who are more expert in these topics to develop new statistics.

2.4 Scottish Household Survey Travel Diary results for 2001 was published in February 2003. It included, for the first time, some results for individual local authorities, and estimates of trip rates, and caveats about the reliability of the figures, given the limitations of the SHS's collection of "off the top of the head" information about travel on a single day and the fact that the interviews in some areas are not evenly spread across the days of the week.

2.5 We finalised the documentation, and deposited an anonymised SHS Travel Diary dataset at the UK Data Archive (to accompany the anonymised data from the "main" part of the survey).

2.6 We also provided further SHS Transport-related results in short articles for the quarterly Scottish Transport Review.

2.7 We helped to select and develop the Transport-related questions for the SHS for 2003. The new questionnaire was used with effect from April 2003 (the delay was due to difficulty deciding on the questions for some other topic areas). New arrangements have been introduced for processing the SHS data (the contractors have taken over some work which we used to do).

2.8 Bus and Coach Statistics 2001-2002 was published in March 2003. It included, for the first time, some results from: (a) SHS questions on the frequency of travel by bus in the evenings, and feelings of safety at the time; and (b) the bus passenger satisfaction survey.

2.9 The Development Department's "Economic Advice and Statistics" Division was expanded to include Social Research colleagues, and became the "Analytical Services" Division. As part of the restructuring, Duncan Gray (DD Senior Statistician) spends more time on Housing-related matters, and less on Transport - so Frank Dixon took over as Chairman of this Committee.

2.10 With colleagues in DfT and NAW, we are involved in the GB-wide road accident statistics Quality Review. We distributed the draft conclusions of the review to members of the Liaison Group on Road Accident Statistics (LGRAS) and other contacts. A meeting of LGRAS in May 2003 discussed the proposed changes to the "STATS 19" returns, which will take effect from the start of 2005, and some other matters.

2.11 We considered the recommendations of Professor Richard Allsop's Quality Review of the road accident statistics publications and other outputs, and consulted LGRAS on what we might do. In the light of LGRAS members' comments, we will add some new tables to Road Accidents Scotland 2002 and Key 2003 Road Accident Statistics, and make some "expanded" Excel spreadsheet versions of some Road Accidents Scotland tables available on the SE Web site..

2.12 Key 2002 Road Accident Statistics was published in June 2003.

2.13 Esta Clark left the branch at the end of June, and was replaced by Stephen Hinchliffe.

2.14 We developed "Transport Statistics" pages for the SE Web site. They provide access to:

  • the "on-line" versions of all of our publications (back to Spring 1998);
  • Excel spreadsheet versions of all the tables in the latest edition of each publication;
  • Excel versions of the tables in some earlier editions of some publications;
  • other relevant information and links to other Web sites.

We hope that a simple Web address will be assigned soon, as at present they are at:

http://www.scotland.gov.uk/about/CSU/DD-EAS-Trans/00015781/TranTheme.aspx

2.15 The publication date for Scottish Transport Statistics no. 22 / 2003 edition is 25th August 2003. We have improved it in various ways - e.g. by adding an "International Comparisons" section, putting the "Historical Series" into the "Summary" section to give a single commentary on the main trends, expanding the Scottish Household Survey tables to show some trends, and expanding the road traffic tables to show DfT's revised and extended estimates. We have also produced an accompanying "pocket-sized" Key Scottish Transport Statistics card

2.16 With our computing colleagues, we started to consider:

  • how our road accident statistics computer system should be developed given the Quality Review recommendations for changes to the "Stats 19" (which take effect in January 2005);
  • how to develop the database to assign to accident locations the forthcoming "disadvantaged area" classification (SE intends to use their number of fatal and serious accidents involving children as a "Closing the Gap" indicator) and an "urban / rural" classification (as DfT no longer produces traffic estimates separately for "built up" and "non built up" areas); and
  • the use of a GIS with the database.

2.17 We started to compare the SHS and Census results for "cars and vans available" and "travel to work or place of study" for a number of different areas and population sub-groups, in order to assess the reliability of the SHS results.

3 Forthcoming developments

(again, SE Transport Statistics branch matters only)

3.1 This section describes the branch's current plans, which are, of course, subject to revision in the light of developments and the advice of the Committee.

3.2 We will provide some initial findings from some of the new Transport-related questions, which were included in the Scottish Household Survey with effect from April 2003, for the new quarterly publications which make available some key SHS results.

3.3 Road Accidents Scotland 2002 should be published in November 2003. Following consultation with LGRAS, it will include, for the first time, a table showing slight casualty numbers, the new DfT traffic estimates for all roads, and the resulting slight casualty rates for individual Local Authority areas, and a table showing statistics for each Police Force area related to progress towards the three national targets. One of the existing tables will be revised to facilitate comparisons with GB of the numbers of casualties by age.

3.4 Following consultation with LGRAS, we will start to make available on the SE Web site some "expanded" spreadsheet versions of some of the tables from Road Accidents Scotland.

3.5 Household Transport in 2002: some Scottish Household Survey results should be published in November 2003. It should analyse trends in more detail, as figures will be available for 1999, 2000, 2001 and 2002 The bulletin will also analyse questions, on the usage of and views on trains and local buses, that were added to the survey at the start of 2002.

3.6 We will make available on the SE Web site, updated versions of some of the tables from Scottish Transport Statistics, in cases where a further year's data become available several months before the next edition is published. For example, after DfT publishes the "bus and coach" figures for 2002-03 (probably at the end of November 2003), we should make available updated versions of some Scottish Transport Statistics tables that include bus and coach figures.

3.7 We intend to publish (at least) one updated version of the Key Scottish Transport Statistics card in the period between editions of Scottish Transport Statistics. The first updated version is likely to appear in December 2003, after DfT publishes the "bus and coach" figures for 2002-03 and some other figures.

3.8 Transport Indicators for Scotland stated (on page 1) that the Executive "will monitor progress against these indicators, review them on a regular basis and publish an annual update on the Scottish Executive website." The Transport Statistics branch will contribute to this work - see paper TTSAC(03) 4.

3.9 Transport across Scotland in 2001 and 2002: some SHS results for parts of Scotland should be published in December 2003. It should provide some initial analyses of trends for local authority areas, by comparing the results of the survey's first two two-year sweeps (i.e. 1999/2000 and 2001/2002).

3.10 Scottish Household Survey Travel Diary results: 2002 edition should be published in February 2004. Again, it should look in more details at trends, as four years' results will be available.

3.11 We will send an anonymised SHS Travel Diary dataset for 2002 to the UK Data Archive.

3.12 We will also provide further SHS Transport-related results in short articles for the quarterly Scottish Transport Review.

3.13 Bus and Coach Statistics 2002-2003 should be published in March 2004. It will include, for the first time, more detailed analysis of the questions on the usage of, and views on, local bus services, which were added to the SHS at the start of 2002.

3.14 The branch will continue to participate in the GB-wide road accident statistics Quality Review. We will distribute details of the review's conclusions, and documentation of the new "STATS 19" format etc that will apply from January 2005, once available, to members of the Liaison Group on Road Accident Statistics and other interested parties. LGRAS should meet in Spring 2004, to discuss any points arising from the final specifications, in order that Police Forces and Councils will be fully aware of what they must do to amend their systems to take account of the changes. If requested, we will be happy to visit some Police Forces and local authorities, to discuss these matters.

3.15 With our computing colleagues, we will decide:

  • how to develop our road accident statistics computer system given the changes to "Stats 19";
  • how to develop the database to assign to accident locations the forthcoming "disadvantaged area" classification and the "DfT traffic estimates urban / rural" classification; and
  • how one might use a GIS with the database.

3.16 Key 2003 Road Accident Statistics should be published in June 2004. Following consultation with LGRAS, it will include, for the first time, figures for individual Local Authority and Police Force areas

3.17 Scottish Transport Statistics no. 23 / 2004 edition should be published in August 2004. It is expected that further improvements will be made, such as including some new types of information that had not been available previously.