Transport Secretary comments on weekly transport trends data

Michael Matheson at Parliament

Commenting on the publication of the transport trends weekly data, Cabinet Secretary for Transport, Infrastructure & Connectivity Michael Matheson said:

“Our latest transport data shows that the majority of people in Scotland are continuing to follow Government guidance and limit travel for essential journeys only. I would like to thank everyone who is playing their part to help the NHS, including our public transport workers who continue to keep the country moving for necessary trips.

“This week we continue to see an increase in people travelling by car and also those using concessionary bus travel since the lockdown began. However it is still as important as ever to only leave home for essential journeys.

“As we approach the bank holiday weekend I would like to ask everyone to continue to stay at home and save lives.”


Road traffic volumes on strategic roads increased by around 35% for cars compared to the lockdown baseline and HGV traffic is around 10% higher. Over the past week, car and HGV traffic has both increased by 10% compared to the previous week.

Walking and cycling levels are 30% and 50% higher respectively compared to the lockdown baseline. Overall levels of walking and cycling were less compared to the previous week and after people being permitted to undertake unlimited exercise from Monday 11 May. This likely in part reflects the recreational aspect, in the absence of other leisure activities, being more sensitive to weather factors with a notable change in conditions on Tuesday and Sunday over the past week.

Google movement data (for the period week ending 9th May) shows that movements remain down across all categories, except residential movements which were higher by around 15% compared to being up 20% at the start of lockdown. All categories were broadly unchanged from the previous week, apart from grocery and pharmacy movements which continued their upward trend, now down 25% compared to 30% the previous week and 40% at the start of lockdown. Retail and recreation movements remain down the most at 75% across Scotland (compared to 80% at the start of lockdown). Movements are also down around places of work by 50% and parks by 15%.

On the buses, this week there has been an increase in concessionary bus travel of around 10% compared to the lockdown baseline. Travel by those aged 70+ years of age continues to account for most of the increase. Overall, concessionary bus travel by the 70+ age group has increased by around 30% compared to the lockdown baseline – this equates to 3,400 extra journeys per day. Week on week, this is around a 5% increase compared to last week.

For Rail, overall travel is around 50% less compared to the lockdown baseline.

For ferry traffic, there is an increase of 20% reported in passenger carryings over the past week compared to the lockdown baseline.
Air traffic managed over Scotland is around 10% less compared to the lockdown baseline.

Published 20 May 2020 Tags