Scottish Government Equality Outcomes: Ethnicity Evidence Review

This evidence review was prepared to support the production of the Scottish Government's Equality Outcomes, with regard to ethnicity.

8 Transport

8.1 The particular needs of ethnic minorities regarding public transport, identified in the sources below, focus on the range of languages in which information is provided and on personal safety. This section closes with a review of private transport use.

8.2 The Scottish Government's Equality Budget Statement for 201184 reports that government funding of local bus services is important to equality groups, including ethnic minorities, who make extensive use of them.


8.3 The Scottish Government's user consultation for the National Transport Strategy85 (2006) found that while visible ethnic minorities raised a number of important transport issues, only the concern over provision of information in a range of languages (particularly for older, first-generation immigrants) related primarily to their ethnicity.

8.4 The Consultation on Initiatives Related to the ScotRail Franchise Extension86 also reports that difficulties with language can present problems in accessing information for some ethnic minorities. As a result of the communication difficulties, some people are discouraged from using public transport.

8.5 In a detailed piece of research into the use of public transport, Transport for London87 found that the provision of information in a variety of languages, with an emphasis on pictures and symbols, was considered to be helpful. This applied especially to older ethnic minority women, who are much less likely to speak English as their first language than the wider London population.


8.6 The ScotRail consultation cited above also found that a perceived lack of personal safety and security was an issue for ethnic minorities.

8.7 The Transport for London study explored barriers to greater use of public transport. The concerns reported by ethnic minorities related to safety, reliability, respect, customer service and access to information.

Use of private transport

8.8 The Scottish Government (2012)88 reports that Indian, Pakistani and Chinese households are the ethnic groups most likely to have access to a car, whilst African households are least likely to. At the time of the 2001 census, two thirds of all households in Scotland had access to a car or van: the proportion was over 70% for Indian, Pakistani and Chinese households and lowest (50%) for African households89.

8.9 According to the combined results of the Scottish Household Survey between 2001 and 200590, adults from ethnic minority groups were markedly less likely to hold a driving license than white people, at 48% compared to 66%. This is based on a sample size of 531 for ethnic minority groups, so will be subject to a degree of sampling error.


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