COVID-19 Public Attitudes Survey Data: Wave 15

Transport Scotland is monitoring public attitudes to transport and travel during the COVID-19 outbreak. We are doing this through a telephone survey carried out on our behalf with a representative sample of over 16s across Scotland.

This information provides the key findings from the survey. It is used to gain an understanding of the ways in which the COVID-19 pandemic is affecting current travel behaviour and intentions for future travel in Scotland. The information cannot be used to determine compliance with government guidance relating to non-essential travel in isolation. Police Scotland hold information in relation to penalty notices issued under emergency legislation.

These findings are for Wave 15 of the survey which took place from 24 - 30 March 2021. The key findings are:

Current Behaviour

  • The vast majority of respondents have left home at least once in the past 7 days (93%). This has been fairly consistent across all 15 waves.
  • The main trip purposes continue to be to shop for groceries (87% leaving the house at least once) and outdoor exercise (81%). The prevalence of most other journey types has stayed the same or declined slightly since Lockdown measures were introduced on Boxing Day. 
  • 31% say they are travelling to work. This is the same as at the previous wave.
  • People continue to shop for groceries and other items less frequently (1-3 times a week) whereas they take part in outdoor exercise more frequently (4-7 times per week). For those travelling to work, the majority are doing so between 4-5 times a week.


  • The vast majority of respondents (85%) state that they are following the regulations and guidance on travel and transport completely or nearly completely. 14% state they are less compliant.
  • The majority of respondents (84%) have not travelled out with their local authority area. Of those who have, the main reasons have been for exceptions to the regulation not to travel such as to go to work (48%); medical or dental appointments (12%); for essential shopping (11%); or to provide caring responsibilities (9%).
  • 60% of people had travelled in a car with someone else in the past seven days. Of those who did, the vast majority did so with someone from their own or extended household (93%). 9% did so with someone not from their own home or extended household.
  • 89% agreed with the statement “I will wear a face covering if using public transport”. 93% of those who used public transport in the past 7 days said that they wore a face covering but this is based on a very small number of people (28).


  • 71% of respondents indicated that they had received at least one dose of the Coronavirus vaccine.
  • A third of respondents (33%) agree that they will use public transport more than they are currently doing once the majority of people have received a least one dose of the coronavirus vaccine. Two in five (40%) agree that they will use public transport more than they are currently doing if the Scottish Government say it is safe to do so.

Looking Ahead

  • Concerns about using public transport remain high: 72% of people are very or fairly concerned about contracting or spreading the virus while using public transport; and 63% are very or fairly concerned about having enough space to observe physical distancing on public transport. This has been fairly consistent across the previous 14 waves of the survey.
  • 46% agree with the statement “I will avoid public transport and use my car or other vehicle more than I did before when restrictions on transport are lifted”. The main reasons for avoiding public transport in rank order are the risk that others are still carrying the disease; convenience; unable to stay 1m apart; and cleanliness or hygiene on-board public transport.
  • 57% of agree with the statement “I will go back to doing all of the things I did before including vacations and travel”.
  • 31% agree that they expect to work from home more often in the future.
  • 64% agree that they will walk and cycle more.
  • 48% agree that they will travel less by air than before.
  • When asked when it is likely respondents are likely to travel and for a holiday or a break, 22% said Summer this year. 25% said in 2022; 18% said they did not know; while 16% said Autumn this year. 19% said Spring this year.

Published Date 9 Apr 2021 Type Topic