Transport Secretary comments on weekly transport trends data

Cab Sec Control Centre 1

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

“This week the Covid-19 transport trend data provides a weekly snapshot compared to a lockdown baseline of Monday 30th March to Sunday 5th April. Moving from a before to within lockdown comparison is important to monitor changes in travel as we consider the transition from restrictions looking ahead.

“I would like to thank and pay tribute to the clear overwhelming majority of people who are continuing to follow Government guidance and limit travel to only essential journeys. This is a vital effort as we collectively continue to help protect the NHS and save lives.

“This week’s transport trend data shows some further upward movements in car traffic and concessionary travel since the lockdown began. Given these trends and ahead of a bank holiday weekend, we have to be absolutely clear, it is still as important as ever to only leave the house for essential journeys.”


The full data set can be viewed on the Transport Scotland website 

This week we have completed analysis comparing demand to a lockdown baseline (Monday 30th March to Sunday 5th April).  

This is a new trip rate that has been calculated baselined to the start of lockdown, taken as Monday 30th March to Sunday 5th April inclusive to remove initial variability in datasets while there was adjustment by individuals and businesses to the situation.

Travel has increased from a lockdown baseline average of 0.9 trips to 1.2 trips per person per day.

Overwhelmingly, people are still continuing to adhere to ‘lockdown’ guidance.

Car traffic levels do show an increase of 20% compared to the start of lockdown, but trip distance information suggests the increase is predominantly accounted for by local trips.

Walking and cycling continues to be typically higher compared to the start of lockdown with more day to day variation reflected over the past week which likely reflects more variable weather conditions compared to recent weeks.

Public transport use remains low. There has though been a slight further increase of 2% observed in concessionary bus travel by those aged 70+ over this week, when compared to last week. Overall, travel by this age group is now around 20% higher (the equivalent of 2,100 extra journeys per day) compared to the lockdown baseline.

Public attitude data indicates the majority of people are still following physical distancing guidance; with the reduction in services having an impact to varying extents on those using public transport. Looking ahead, there is an increase in the number of people stating they will avoid using public transport and use their car/other vehicle more than before.

The freight industry is continuing to maintain essential deliveries.

Published 6 May 2020 Tags