Transport and Travel in Scotland 2010

Summarises a broad range of transport statistics including road vehicles, traffic, casualties, bus and rail passengers, road and rail freight, air and water transport and personal travel as well as providing some comparisons with GB figures. Further breakdowns of Scottish Household Survey transport data including households' access to cars and bikes, frequency of driving, modes of travel to work and school, use and opinions of public transport and access to services are also presented.

1 Main Points

Motor vehicles, traffic and driving

1.1 The estimated total volume of traffic on Scotland's roads in 2010 was over 43 billion vehicle kilometres - 1.7 per cent less than 2009 and continuing the downward trend since a peak of 44.6 billion vehicle kilometres in 2007.

1.2 In 2010 there were around 209,000 new vehicle registrations in Scotland, a decrease of 3.4 per cent on 2009, continuing the downward trend since a peak of 263,000 in 2004.

1.3 There were 2.7 million motor vehicles licensed in Scotland in 2010, a similar level to the previous year and 23 per cent higher than in 2000.

1.4 Over two-thirds of people aged 17 or over had a full driving licence in 2010, an increase of 3 percentage points since 2000.

1.5 Males were more likely to hold a full driving license than females (76% vs. 60%); male licence possession has been fairly stable whilst female possession increased.

1.6 Twenty-six per cent of households had access to two or more cars in 2010, whilst 30 per cent had no access to a car. The proportions have remained similar over the last four years.

1.7 Households reported an average spend of £112 on fuel for their cars in the past month - up from £100 in 2009 and £78 in 2003. The median spend reported in 2010 was £80.

Public transport, ferries and aviation

1.8 Scotrail patronage increased by 1.8% (to 78.29 million) in 2010/11 - the highest level in the series and an increase of 22% since 2004/05.

1.9 Forty-four per cent of respondents used their local bus service in the last month, with 25 per cent using the train.

1.10 Nearly a quarter of respondents had a regular bus service (at least 5 buses an hour) in 2010 (up from 19 per cent in 2000).

1.11 Users were generally satisfied with both rail and bus services. Ninety-three per cent of train users and 73 per cent of bus users agreed that services run on time.

1.12 Fifty-four per cent of those aged 60 or over used their concessionary pass at least once a month. Thirty-two per cent have a pass but haven't used it. Thirteen per cent have no pass.

1.13 There were around 20.9 million air terminal passengers at airports in Scotland in 2010. Seven per cent less than in the previous year. Some of this reduction will be due to the ash cloud over Iceland.

1.14 Forty-four per cent of SHS respondents took a flight for leisure purposes in 2010 and 7 per cent for business.

1.15 Ferry patronage fell by 1 per cent in 2010 to just under 5.9 million.

Walking and cycling

1.16 Fifty-one per cent of respondents had walked at least a quarter of a mile for pleasure in the past seven days in 2010.

1.17 Sixty-two per cent of respondents had walked at least a quarter of a mile as a means of transport in the past seven days.

1.18 Thirty-four per cent of households had access to at least one bicycle for adult use in 2010 (a similar figure to 2000) .

Travel to work and school

1.19 Sixty-seven per cent of respondents travelled to work by car, a similar percentage to 2009 and 2000. Sixty-one per cent of these were as a driver and six per cent as a passenger. This figure provides an update to the indicator used in the Scottish Government's National Performance Framework.

1.20 Active travel accounted for 16 per cent (walking: 13.4%, cycling: 2.3%) and public transport 14 per cent (bus: 10.8%, rail: 3.6%) of all journeys to work in 2010.

1.21 Forty-five per cent of car drivers experienced delays travelling to work at least once a week due to traffic congestion.

1.22 Around a quarter of respondents regularly travelled to work using different modes on different days in 2009/10.

1.23 Fifty-one per cent of all journeys to school were made by walking or cycling in 2010 (down from 55% in 2000).

Access to services

1.24 Eighty-five per cent of respondents felt that public transport was very or fairly convenient to access in 2010.


1.25 Two thirds of freight lifted in Scotland is transported by road (a slight fall from a peak of 71% in 2007). Five per cent is carried by rail, 13 per cent by pipeline and the rest by water. These proportions have changed little over the last ten years.

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