Transport and Travel In Scotland 2012

Transport Scotland’s Statisticians today published Transport and Travel in Scotland 2012. This bulletin provides a first release of the results from the 2012 Scottish Household Survey transport questions. Statistics from a range of other previously published sources are used to provide context. The publication can be found on the Transport Scotland website

The main findings from the 2012 SHS transport questions are:

Travel to work and school

  • Thirty per cent of respondents travelled to work by public or active transport, continuing the trend of little change in recent years. This figure provides an update to the indicator used in the Scottish Government’s National Performance Framework which is considered to be ‘performance maintaining’.
  • Active travel accounted for 16 per cent (walking: 13.6%, cycling: 2.0%) and public transport 14 per cent (bus: 10.1%, rail: 4.3%) of all journeys to work in 2012, these figures are similar to 2011.
  • Fifty-two per cent of all journeys to school were made by walking or cycling in 2012. The levels have remained relatively stable over the last ten years.
  • Children in primary school were more likely to walk or be driven to school than children in secondary school. Secondary school pupils are more likely to catch a bus.

Motor vehicles and driving

  • Driving licence possession varies with age. Seventeen to 19 year olds have the lowest rate of licence possession (28%) with the rate increasing with age to peak at 80 per cent of 40 to 49 year olds, before decreasing back down to 37 per cent of those 80 or over.
  • One in five respondents had made a journey in the last month where they chose to drive only part of the way, and completed their journey using another form of transport. Of these, 29 per cent parked in a designated Park & Ride facility and a further 29 per cent used an ordinary car park at a bus station, train station or airport.

Public transport and aviation

  • The majority of people are satisfied with public transport. Seventy-two per cent of people were satisfied or very satisfied in 2012. This is a fall from 76 per cent in 2011 and higher than in 2007 (69%). This forms part of the update to the National indicator on perceptions of the quality of public services. Eighty-four per cent of respondents felt that public transport was very or fairly convenient to access in 2012.
  • When asked about aspects of each mode of public transport, levels of satisfaction were higher. Most people agreed that it was easy to change from buses and trains to other forms of transport (82% for trains and 75% for buses) and to find out route and timetable information (91% for trains and 84% for buses).
  • Twenty-eight per cent of respondents to the SHS used the train in the last month, up from 26 per cent in 2011 and an increase from 15 per cent in 2002. Forty two per cent used a local bus in the last month.
  • Younger people and women are more likely to use the bus. Two thirds of 16-19 year olds had used the bus in the last month, compared to one third of those aged 40-49. 45 per cent of women had used the bus in the last month compared to 38 per cent of men.
  • Fifty-five per cent of those aged 60 or over used their concessionary pass at least once a month. Thirty-four per cent have a pass but haven’t used it. Twelve per cent have no pass.
  • Forty-six per cent of SHS respondents took a flight for leisure purposes in 2012 and 8 per cent for business.

Notes to editors

  1. The full statistical bulletin is available via the Transport Scotland website
  2. National Statistics are produced by professionally independent statistical staff – more information on the standards of National Statistics in Scotland can be accessed at:
  3. This bulletin describes some of the main trends in transport statistics over the last 10 years, from the Scottish Household Survey and a number of administrative data sources. A comprehensive statistical picture of transport activity is described in the compendium Scottish Transport Statistics, next due to be published in February 2014. Further information on Transport and Travel statistics within Scotland can be accessed at:
  4. The SHS started in February 1999 and involves interviews with about 15,500 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.
  5. Further Scottish Household Survey (SHS) statistics are published within the SHS Annual Report 2012. This covers a range of topics including housing, transport, health and education and can be accessed via the Scottish Government website. The SHS Travel Diary results will be published by Transport Scotland in November 2013.
  6. This bulletin publishes SHS statistics which underpin Scotland’s National Indicator on travel to work. More information on Scotland’s National Indicators can be found on the Scotland Performs website:

Published 28 Aug 2013