Scots walked more of their short journeys in 2019

A survey of Scotland’s transport and travel habits has found that a greater proportion of journeys under two miles were made on foot.

Transport Scotland statisticians today released statistics on transport and travel in Scotland from the Scottish Household Survey 2019. The publication includes a range of statistics about the journeys people make and how they travel.

The survey found that there was an increase in walking for short journeys, with the proportion of short journeys under two miles taken on foot rising from 44% in 2018 to 48% in 2019, although the figure had been 49% in 2012.

The National Performance Framework includes a National Indicator on ‘Journeys by active travel’, which monitors the proportion of short journeys that are made by the two main active travel modes: walking and cycling. The rise in the proportion of walking journeys means that performance on this indicator is improving. 

Analysis of the trips that people made in 2019 found that over half of journeys in Scotland (53%) were made by driving a car or van. A further 12% of journeys were as car or van passengers.

Walking was the second most popular mode of transport in 2019, accounting for 22% of journeys, up from 20% in 2018, but having dropped from 26% in 2012. Cycling accounted for 1.2% of journeys.

The proportion of journeys made by train was 2.3%, whilst respondents reported making the lowest share of journeys by bus (7.0%) since comparable records began in 2012, when the figure was 8.1%.

Other findings from the survey include:

  • Scottish householders are increasingly willing to consider buying an electric car. 48% of respondents said they would consider buying an electric car or van in the future, an increase from 36% in 2016.
  • An increasing percentage of women have driving licences. In 1999 52% of women had driving licences, and the proportion has steadily risen to 66% in 2019. The proportion for men has shown no increase over this period, with the percentage at 77% in both 1999 and 2019.
  • The proportion of people working from home increased from 7% in 1999 to 16% in 2019.


The figures released today were produced by independent statistical staff free from any political interference, in accordance with professional standards set out in the Code of Practice for Official Statistics.

The full statistical publication and an infographic summary report are available on the Transport Scotland website.

The publication provides a first release of the results from the transport questions in the Scottish Household Survey (SHS) and Travel Diary data. The publication uses data from other sources (eg Department for Transport) to provide context to the SHS results.

The statistics in the publication are used by Transport Scotland, Local Authorities and others  to understand transport patterns and travel behaviours in Scotland and to develop policy.

The SHS started in February 1999 and involves interviews with around 10,000 households across Scotland each year.  While the aim is to obtain a representative cross section, like any survey the results may vary from year-to-year depending upon the composition of the sample.  Some topics have been included in the SHS since it started; others were added more recently.

Results on other topics within the SHS, including housing, health and education, are published within the SHS Annual Report 2019 which can be accessed through the Scottish Government website.

Further information on Transport and Travel statistics within Scotland can be accessed on the Transport Scotland website.

Official statistics are produced by professionally independent statistical staff.

Published 15 Sep 2020 Tags