Scottish Transport Statistics No 30: 2011 Edition

INTERNATIONAL COMPARISONS

1. Introduction

1.1 This chapter compares some statistics for Scotland with the 2007 27 EU member countries over a mixture of years. Due to the increased EU membership over the years overall comparisons with EU-15 and EU-27 countries are made.

1.2 Due to definitional variations across countries comparisons may not be exact (see Sections 3, 4 & 5), especially where noticeable difference exist between the UK figure and the UK/GB calculated on the same basis as the figure for Scotland. Scotland figures use 2010 mid-year estimates, compared to the 1st January 2009 population estimates given for EU countries.

1.4 In some cases, the EU countries' figures do not all relate to the same year. (See Section 5). Because of such differences, the commentary in Section 2 generally does not reference the year. As transport statistics tend to change slowly this shouldn't matter.

2. Main points

Population

2.1 Scotland has a low population: only eight of the EU-27 (Cyprus, Estonia, Ireland, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Latvia, Malta and Slovenia) have fewer people. Scotland also has a low population density (67 people per square kilometre) compared with the overall EU average (EU-15: 122; EU-27: 115). Only six of the EU-27 countries (Estonia, Finland, Ireland, Lithuania, Latvia and Sweden) have a lower population density than Scotland.

Road Network

2.2 For its area, Scotland has a short Motorway network (5.2 km of Motorway per thousand square kilometres), well below the overall EU figure (EU-15: 19.0; EU-27: 15.4). Nine of the EU-27 countries (Bulgaria, Estonia, Finland, Latvia, Malta, Lithuania, Poland, Romania and Sweden) have a lower figure than Scotland.

2.3 The total length of the Scottish road network is also short, relative to the area of the country (Scotland: 765 km of road per thousand square kilometres; EU-15: 1,089; EU-27: 1,044). Of the EU-27, seven countries (Bulgaria, Finland, Germany, Sweden, Italy, Portugal and Romania) have lower figures than Scotland. However, full data was not available for Bulgaria, Germany, Italy and Portugal as the no data existed for 'other roads'.

2.4 Scotland has a short rail network for its area (35.4 km of route per thousand square kilometres) compared with the overall EU figure (EU-15: 46.7; EU-27: 49.1). Eight of the 27 EU countries (Estonia, Finland, Greece, Ireland, Latvia, Lithuania, Portugal, Spain and Sweden) have a lower value than Scotland. This does not include Cyprus and Malta which do not have a railway network.

Vehicles per Population

2.5 Scotland has few cars for the size of its population (436 per thousand population) compared with the EU as a whole (EU-15: 503; EU-27: 473). Eleven of the EU-27 countries have lower figures than Scotland.

2.6 Scotland also has few goods vehicles relative to the size of its population (55 per thousand population) compared with the overall EU average (EU-15: 71; EU-27: 68). Of the EU-27, nine countries (Austria, Bulgaria, Germany, Hungry, Latvia, Lithuania, Romania, Slovenia and Slovak Republic) have lower figures.

2.7 The number of new vehicle registrations in Scotland was relatively high (42 per thousand population) - higher than all but two of the EU-27 countries (Belgium and Luxembourg). However, this may be because the Scotland figures relate to all types of vehicle whereas the EU figures are new registrations of cars only.

Distances travelled

2.8 Walking, cycling and motorcycles are excluded from the calculation of these modal shares, for consistency with the figures in the relevant table of the EU publication. That table shows just four modes (passenger cars, buses/coaches, railways and tram/metro) and gives their shares of the total for those four modes. Passenger cars account for a slightly higher percentage of the total travel by those four modes in Scotland (86%) than the EU as a whole (EU-15 83.2; EU-27: 82.6%).

Air travel

2.9 Relative to the size of its population, Scotland has less international air passengers to or from the EU-27 countries (1.51 per head of the population, not counting internal UK traffic) than the overall EU figure (EU-15: 1.77; EU-27: 1.52).

Road Fatalities

2.10 Scotland's number of road deaths per million population is well below the overall EU average (Scotland: 42; EU-15: 59; EU-27: 70). Of the EU-27 countries, only three countries (UK, Netherlands and Sweden) had lower figures.

Freight

2.11 For freight transport, road has a low modal share in Scotland (59.2%) compared with the overall EU figure (EU-15: 75.2%; EU-27: 73.8%) due to the high modal share of pipelines (27.4%, higher than in any EU country). The modal shares of rail and inland waterways in Scotland are both below the overall figures for the EU-27.

3.1 Table Comparisons

  • Rates (per thousand population or per thousand square kms) are based on the countries' areas and populations presented in EU Energy and Transport in Figures. As figures are rounded to a few decimal places, results won't be as precise as they using exact figures. Therefore figures should be regarded as broad indicators;
  • Country figures may not be on exactly the basis due to the availability of data. There is plenty of scope for differences in interpretation or definition (e.g. should the surface area of inland lochs and lakes be included when calculating a country's area?);
  • Scotland figures may differ from those elsewhere in Scottish Transport Statistics in order to provide Scottish figures on the same basis as the GB or UK figures given in the final two columns.
  • GB and UK figures are on the same basis as the figures for Scotland. The closer that these figures are to the UK (or GB) figures from EU Energy and Transport in Figures (columns to the left of the EU-15 and EU-27), the closer that the Scottish basis is to the EU countries.
  • Many of the Scotland figures are derived from GB-wide surveys conducted by the Department for Transport and UK figures may not be as readily available. As Northern Ireland may account for a small percentage of a UK figure, there is likely to be little difference between figures for GB and UK, particularly for rates.
  • Some of the Scotland, GB and/or UK figures appear with more significant digits than the figures for the EU countries, increasing the precision of the rates.

4. Notes & Sources: EU countries

4.1 Most EU country statistics originate from the 2011 EU Energy and Transport in Figures, produced annually by the EC Directorate General for Energy and Transport with the assistance of Eurostat. The publication contains a range of detailed statistics and only a summary are presented in this chapter. Email tif@cec.eu.int or available at:
http://ec.europa.eu/transport/publications/statistics/statistics_en.

5. Notes & Sources: Scotland, UK & GB

5.1 In general, notes on and definitions of the figures for Scotland (and, by implication, the figures on the same basis for the UK or GB as a whole) appear in the relevant chapters. Therefore, this section covers only matters which are not dealt with there.

5.3 Population, area and population density: The population figures for GB and UK are mid-2010 estimates (NB: the EU publication's figures are for 1 January 2010) based on Office for National Statistics release (published on 30 June 2011), available at http://www.ons.gov.uk/ons/search/indexl?newquery=mid-year+population. Scottish figures are taken directly from the General Registry Office of Scotland.

Areas figures relate to 2008 (no year is specified for the EU publication's figures) taken from Table 1.1 of the 2010 edition of the Annual Abstract of Statistics. Population densities were calculated by the Scottish Government using these area estimates.

5.4 Motorways: the figures for Scotland and for GB are for 2008 (the same year as most of the EU figures). They were taken from Table RDL0201 of DfT's road lengths statistics publication. The DfT's figure for Scotland was used in this table. It differs slightly from the figure for the length of motorways in Scotland (excluding slip roads) in Table 4.1).

5.5 All roads: the figures for Scotland and for GB relate to 2008 (the same year as most of the EU figures), taken from Table RDL0201 of DfT's road lengths statistics. The DfT's figure for Scotland was used in this table which differs from the road length figure in Table 4.1, due to the DfT using a Geographical Information System (GIS) and Ordnance Survey data to produce estimates. Whereas (as explained in Chapter 4), most of the figures in Table 4.1 are produced from annual returns made by local authorities. Some time after publishing its GIS-based estimates for 2003, DfT found that they were wrongly counting some private roads in Scotland (mainly those for which the Forestry Commission is responsible) as public roads, and also used data supplied by some local authorities to improve its estimates of the length of the minor road network. DfT subsequently produced better estimates for 2004, which are lower than its estimate for 2003 by about 2,800 km for Scotland (and about 4,600 km for GB as a whole) but are still greater than the figures given in table 4.1. It should be emphasised that DfT's over-estimation of the length of the road network (in 2003 and, perhaps, 2004) does not alter the main conclusion that one would draw from the data, which is that (relative to its area) Scotland has one of the shortest road networks in the EC.

Some countries (Bulgaria, Denmark, Germany, Italy, Luxembourg, Portugal and Romania) did not have information for 'other roads' in the latest EU publication. Therefore the total road length figure for these countries excludes 'other roads', and hence, the final figure may be an underestimate.

5.6 Railways: the figures are for the route length at the end of the financial year 2009/10 (the EU figures are for 2009). The figure for Scotland is from Table 7.15 of this publication; the GB figure was taken from Table 6.1 of TSGB 2010.

5.7 Passenger cars: passenger cars figures for Scotland and GB are for 2009 (most EU figures are for 2009). They are taken from Table 9.1 of DfT's Transport Statistics Great Britain 2010 edition.

5.8 Powered two wheelers: the figures for Scotland and GB are for 2009 (the same year as most of the EU figures). They are taken from Table 9.1 of DfT's Transport Statistics Great Britain 2010 edition, which includes figures for motorcycles, scooters and mopeds and based on numbers of vehicles licensed at 31st December. The EU publication's figure (for the UK) is lower than the DfT figure for GB due to different methodologies. EU figures are based on national sources and definitions may vary.

5.9 Goods vehicles: the figures for Scotland and GB are for 2009 (the same year as most of the EU figures). The Scottish figure is taken from Table 1.2 of this publication, and the GB figure is taken from Table 9.1 of DfT's Transport Statistics Great Britain 2010 edition. They are the totals of the figures for the body types light goods and goods (the latter being heavy goods vehicles). The result of using the body type figures is slightly different from that which would have been obtained had taxation group figures been used.

5.10 New registrations of passenger cars: the GB and Scotland figures are for new registrations of all vehicles and are for 2010 (the same year as most of the EU figures). They are taken from Table VEH0152 of DfT's Vehicle Licensing Statistics.

5.11 Passenger transport - distance travelled and modal shares

5.11.1 The figures for Scotland and GB are for the two year period 2009/2010 (the EU figures are for 2009). Following the increase in its sample size with effect from 2002, the National Travel Survey can provide some figures for a single year for Scotland, but figures for the two year period should be less susceptible to sampling fluctuations. The figures for Scotland are taken from Table 11.2 of this publication and converted from miles into kilometres. The GB figures for 2009/2010 were calculated by simply averaging the figures from 2009 and 2010 for each relevant mode of transport shown in Table NTS0305 of DfT's National Travel Survey: 2011 bulletin, and converting the result from miles into kilometres.

5.11.2 The NTS figures relate to the mode of travel, not to the main mode that is used in some other analyses of NTS figures and use detailed mode breakdowns of NTS results as opposed to aggregate groupings. Also passenger cars category consists of car only - driver, car only - passenger and taxi / minicab; the buses and coaches category covers private hire bus, bus in London, local bus and non-local bus; and the tram / metro category relates only to the London Underground (the Glasgow Underground is not identified in the results of the NTS).

5.11.3 The NTS average for the total distance travelled per person in GB (covering all modes of transport) is 6,751 miles, or 10,865 kilometres in 2009/10. For the modes of transport shown in the table (which excludes, for example, air and ferry) the NTS average is 10,758 kilometres. This is noticeably less than the GB total of 13,089 kilometres for the modes of travel shown in the table, which was calculated from the overall passenger-kilometre figures published in EU Energy and Transport in Figures. This difference arises because the two sets of figures are on different bases:

  • the NTS figures relate only to personal travel within GB, and are produced from the results of a survey of households across GB;
  • the EU publication's figures have been derived by dividing estimates of the total volume of travel (passenger-kilometres) within the country by the total population of the country.

The kinds of travel which would be counted using the latter approach (but not by the NTS) include

  • travel within GB by foreign tourists and other non-residents;
  • travel for business purposes (e.g. to and from meetings);
  • and, possibly, some travel in the course of their work by the likes of lorry drivers, postmen and bus drivers.

Therefore, estimates produced using the latter approach will be greater than the NTS estimates, which cover only personal travel by residents.

5.11.4 There are no official estimates of the total passenger-kilometres travelled within Scotland: the only Scottish estimates of the average distance travelled per head of population are NTS ones, which cover only personal travel by residents.

5.11.5 Although the two methods produce markedly different average distances (NTS: 10,758 kilometres; calculated from the statistics in EU Energy and Transport in Figures: 13,089 kilometres), they produce quite similar modal shares - e.g. the modal share for passenger cars is: NTS - 83.3%; shown in EU Energy and Transport in Figures - 87.2% (NB: in both cases, the modal shares are calculated excluding powered two-wheelers, walking and cycling, for consistency with the figures in the relevant table of the EU publication). Therefore, the modal shares for Scotland, calculated from the NTS results, should be comparable to the modal shares for the EU countries.

5.12 International air passengers (traffic between EU countries): the figures for Scotland and the UK are both for 2009 (the same year as the EU figures). The Scottish figure is taken from the Total EU countries in Table 8.3(a) of this publication. It is the number of passengers to and from most of the EU-27 countries for the main Scottish international airports (Aberdeen, Edinburgh, Glasgow and Glasgow Prestwick). The table shows figures for 21 of the EU member states: these are the countries for which the international air passenger route analysis table on the Civil Aviation Authority's Web site (from which the figures for Table 8.3(a) were obtained) shows passengers to/from Scottish airports (for example, the CAA table does not show any passengers between, say, Luxembourg and any Scottish airport in 2005). These figures will underestimate slightly the total number of international passengers between Scotland and EU countries because they do not include (a) passengers on charter only routes in cases where fewer than 5,000 passengers were carried between an airport and a particular country, nor (b) any passengers to and from EU countries at other airports in Scotland. The UK figure is taken from Table AVI0105 of DfT's Aviation Statistics publication, using the figures for EU-27.

5.13 Road fatalities: the figures for Scotland and GB are both for 2009 (as are most of the EU figures). The Scottish figure is taken from Table 2 of Reported Road Casualties Scotland 2010, and the GB figure is taken from Table RAS30003 of Reported Road Casualties Great Britain 2010.

5.14 Freight transport - modal shares

5.13.1 Both Scotland and GB relate to 2009 (as do the EU figures). The Scottish figures are derived from the tonne-kilometre figures for each mode of transport which appear in Table H2(b) of this publication. The GB figures are derived from the tonne-kilometre figures for each mode of transport which appear in Table 4.3 of TSGB 2010.

5.14.2 The figures for Scotland are based on the tonnage of goods lifted in Scotland and the distance on which they are carried on that journey, be it within Scotland or from Scotland to (say) England. For example, the tonne-kilometres for goods taken from Edinburgh to London would be calculated using the full distance between Edinburgh and London (over 660 kilometres) not just the distance between Edinburgh and the border (under 160 kilometres). Therefore, the figures do not represent the modal shares for freight transport within Scotland: they include tonne-kilometres outwith Scotland on journeys which started in Scotland, and they exclude tonne-kilometres within Scotland on journeys which started elsewhere.