4 Public transport, ferries and aviation
More people are using the train. ScotRail patronage increased by 2.7 per cent (to 83.3 million) in 2012/13 - the highest level recorded and an increase of 45% since 2003/04. [Table S1]
Twenty-eight per cent of respondents to the SHS used the train in the last month, up from 26 per cent in 2011 and 15 per cent in 2002. Forty two per cent used a local bus in the last month. [Table S3]
There were 439 million passenger journeys on local bus services in Scotland in the (financial year) 2011/12, an increase of 2 per cent on the previous year.
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 2007 (69%). [Table 4]
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. [Table 28]
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). [Table 29]
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. [Table 32]
Of all adults aged 60 or over, those who were permanently retired were more likely to have a pass than those in employment (91% and 76% respectively). [Table 32]
There were 22.2 million air terminal passengers at airports in Scotland in 2012. An increase of less than one per cent on 2011. [Table S1]
The number of passenger journeys from Scottish airports to destinations outwith the UK was higher than the number of internal flights for the first time (10.21m compared to 10.05m). [Table S4]
Forty-six per cent of SHS respondents took a flight for leisure purposes in 2012 and 8 per cent for business.
In 2012, 5.5 million passengers were carried on Caledonian MacBrayne, Northlink Orkney and Shetland and Orkney ferry services. This was 2.5 per cent lower than the previous year. [Table S1]
Local bus services
4.1 There were 439 million passenger journeys on local bus services in Scotland in the (financial year) 2011/12. This is an increase (of 2%) on the previous year and a flattening of the downward trend from a peak of 488 million passenger journeys in 2007. These figures represent a revised series from 2004/05 onwards and caution is advised when comparing with data prior to 2004/05.
4.2 Longer-term trends show a decline in bus patronage. There were almost 1,700 million passenger journeys on local bus services in 1960. The number had almost halved by 1975. Since then, it has roughly halved again, from 891 million in 1975 to 467 million in 2009-10 with falls in almost every year between 1960 and 1999. Figure 13 shows the trends since 1975 and show (alongside Figure 14) that local bus passenger numbers are significantly higher than other modes of public transport.
4.3 Forty-two per cent of respondents had used the local bus service in the past month. This is broadly similar to 2002 levels although 4.5 percentage points lower than a recent peak in 2008. [Table S3]
4.4 Younger and older age groups were the most likely to use the bus. Two thirds of 16-19 year olds had used the bus in the past month which contrasts with only one third of those aged 40-49. This is consistent with the results on frequency of driving, which showed that the 30 to 59 year age groups were the most likely to drive every day. [Table 28]
4.5 Women were more likely to use the bus, with 45 per cent responding that they had used the bus in the last month, compared to only 38 per cent of men. This again reflects driving trends reported in Section 3. [Table 28]
Income, deprivation and urban/rural
4.6 Those in large urban areas were the most likely to travel by bus almost or every day (15% compared to only 3% of those living in remote rural areas). [Table 28] This is unsurprising as data previously collected through the SHS shows that urban areas receive more frequent and accessible bus services. [See Table 17 of Transport and Travel in Scotland 2011]
4.7 Areas of multiple deprivation tend to be located in urban areas and therefore it is unsurprising that bus use is also higher amongst those living in areas of multiple deprivation. [Table 28]
Satisfaction with service
4.8 People were satisfied with most aspects of bus services that the survey asked them about. At least 74 per cent of respondents were satisfied with: the extent to which buses ran to timetable; the cleanliness of buses; the ease of changing to other forms of transport; the ease of finding out route and timetable information and; the simplicity of deciding what ticket they need.[Table 29]
4.9 Respondents gave lower satisfaction scores for the extent to which buses were environmentally friendly (56%) and whether the fares were good value (55%).
4.10 Additionally, there was a noticeable difference in those who felt safe on the bus during the day and in the evening. Ninety-three per cent of respondents agreed that they felt safe using the bus during the day compared to 62 per cent in the evening. [Table 29]
Great Britain comparison
4.11 The SHS shows broadly similar levels of bus use in Scotland to that of Great Britain. Figures for Great Britain were collected through the 2012 National Travel Survey and found that 27 per cent of respondents used the bus at least once a week (compared to 28% from the SHS). (From Table: NTS0313)
4.12 The National Concessionary Travel Scheme was rolled out across Scotland in April 2006. The scheme enables individuals aged 60+ or those with a disability (who meet certain criteria) to travel free on buses across Scotland.
4.13 Twenty-seven per cent of all adults (16+) had a concessionary fare pass in 2012, and 88 per cent of those aged 60 or over had a pass. [Table 5]
4.14 However, only 55 per cent of respondents aged 60 or used their pass at least once a month, with 34 per cent owning a pass and using it less than once a month. [Table 32]
4.15 Of those aged over 60, younger people were less likely to have a pass. Nineteen per cent of respondents aged 60 to 64 did not have a pass, compared with 12 per cent or less for older age groups. (Figure 11) [Table 31]
4.16 Females were more likely to use their pass than males (59% and 51% respectively) and they tended to use it more frequently, with 42 per cent using it at least weekly, compared to 32 per cent of males. This is consistent with other SHS figures, which suggest that females use the bus more than males. [Table 32] [Table 28]
4.17 Of all adults aged 60 or over, those who were permanently retired were more likely to have a pass than those in employment (91% and 76% respectively). [Table 32] This may indicate that those in employment are unaware that they are eligible for a pass or that they simply would not need one, for example if they choose to travel to work by car. 28 per cent of people aged 60+ and in employment have a pass and use it at least once a week, compared to 38 per cent of those who are retired.
Figure 11: Possession and use of concessionary fare pass, 2012
4.18 Forty-one per cent of adults aged 60 or over and in lower income households (up to £10,000 per year) used their pass at least once a week compared to 30 per cent of those in households with over £20,000 per year. [Table 32]
4.19 Frequency of driving had a considerable effect on how often concessionary passes were used by those aged over 60. Of those who drove every day, only 16 per cent used their pass at least once a week compared to over 54 per cent of those who drove less than once a week. [Table 32]
Rail passenger services
4.20 There were 83.3 million ScotRail passenger journeys recorded in 2012/13, 2.15 million (2.7 per cent) more than in the previous year and an increase of 45 per cent since 2003/04.
4.21 The ORR publish figures for the whole of Great Britain so include cross border services. ORR figures show a five per cent increase to 87.1 million passenger journeys, between 2010/11 and 2011/12. Figure 15 shows that, from 1982 until 2002/03, passenger numbers remained between 50 million and 60 million per year. Since 2002, passenger numbers have been rising steadily, reaching 87 million in 2011. Note that ORR have revised the methodology used to calculate journeys based on ticket sales which has resulted in a revision to data in previous years.
Over the last ten years, the number of passenger journeys started or finishing in Scotland has increased at a similar rate to rail travel in Great Britain. Figure 16 shows that, per head of population, there are fewer rail passenger journeys originating and / or finishing in Scotland than in Great Britain as a whole: 16.6 per head in Scotland in 2011-11, compared with 20 per head in Great Britain.
4.22 Twenty-eight per cent of respondents had used the train in the past month. This is an increase from 26 per cent in 2011 and an increase of 13 percentage points since 2002. Only 9 per cent used the train once a week or more. [Table S3]
4.23 As in the past few years, 4 per cent of respondents travelled to work by train in 2012. [Table S3]
4.24 The younger the age group the more likely they were to have used a train in the last month. (Figure 12) [Table 28] Over 40 per cent of those aged 16-29 used the train in the last month, compared to less than 20 per cent of those aged over 60.
4.25 Broadly speaking, train use increased as household income increased. Forty-two per cent of those in households earning over £40,000 per year used the train at least once a month compared to 21 per cent of those in the lowest income households (up to £10,000 per year). [Table 28]
4.26 Those living in more rural areas were less likely to travel by train. Only 13 per cent of those living in remote rural areas using a train at least once a month compared to at least 29 per cent of those living in urban areas and accessible towns. [Table 28]
Satisfaction with train services
4.27 In general, people were satisfied with train services offered. At least 82 per cent of respondents were satisfied with: the extent to which trains ran to timetable; the ease of finding out route and timetable information; the simplicity of deciding what ticket is needed and; ease to change from train to other forms of transport. [Table 30]
4.28 As with buses, there was a noticeable difference in feelings of safety on trains during the day and in the evening. Ninety-seven per cent of respondents agreed that they felt safe using the train during the day compared to 77 per cent feeling safe during the evening.[Table 30]
4.29 The lowest level of satisfaction related to whether train fares are good value (51% agreed).
Great Britain comparison
4.30 The SHS shows similar results on train use to that of Great Britain (2012 National Travel Survey), which found that 7 per cent used the train at least once a week (SHS shows 8%). (See NTS table: NTS0313)
Bus use compared to train use
4.31 Frequency of driving and driving licence possession had a significant effect on whether respondents travelled by bus. Twenty-nine per cent of those holding a full driving licence had used the local bus service in the past month, compared to 68 per cent of those who didn't hold a full licence. Those who drove more frequently were less likely to travel by bus.
4.32 However, train travel was comparatively unaffected by either frequency of driving or driving licence possession. This could suggest that trains are more likely to be used for longer journeys where cars are not a viable alternative, such as long distance journeys. [Table 28]
4.33 Females were more likely to use the bus than males, while there was no difference in train use by gender. (Figure 12) Table 28
4.34 Adults aged 16 to 19 were much more likely to use the bus almost or every day than older age groups (20% compared to an average of 9% for all adults), however, 20-29 year olds were the age group most likely to use the train every day. Older age groups (60 and over) were more likely to travel by bus than those aged 30-59, while train use decreased as age increased. [Table 28]
4.35 The lower the household income bracket the more likely it is that the respondent used the bus in the last month. This is in direct contrast to train use, which, broadly speaking has a decreased likelihood the lower the household income, implying that the higher cost of rail travel is a deterrent to those on lower incomes. [Table 28]
Satisfaction with public transport
4.36 Seventy-two per cent of respondents were satisfied with public transport. This was a drop of 4 percentage points from 2011. There was actually no change in the proportion of people who were dissatisfied with public transport, instead there was an increase in the proportion responding that they were 'neither satisfied nor dissatisfied'. [Table 4]
Figure 12: Adults who have used a bus or train in the past month, 2012
Figure 13 : Passenger numbers: local bus and rail
NB: Rail and bus figures are revised from 2004/05 onwards. See notes to table S1 and paragraph 4.4.
Figure 14: Passenger numbers per head of population: local bus and rail
4.37 There were 22.2 million air terminal passengers at airports in Scotland in 2012: 0.6 per cent more than in the previous year, and 12 per cent more than in 2002. Figure 15 shows the increase since 1975. Over the longer-term, terminal passenger numbers grew from 1.2 million in 1960 to 22.2 million in 2012. [Table S1]
4.38 For the first time in 2012, the number of passenger journeys to destinations outwith the UK was higher than the number of passenger journeys from Scottish airports with destinations within the UK. [Table S4]
4.39 Forty-six per cent of respondents took a flight for leisure purposes in 2012 and 8 per cent for business. Around half of those taking leisure flights took 1 or 2 over the year, with about a quarter taking 3 or 4. Business travel shows quite different patterns with over two fifths (44%) taking 7 or more trips.
4.40 The most common reason for respondents choosing to fly within the UK as opposed to other forms of travel was because they viewed it as 'quicker', with the next most common reason being 'cheaper'.
4.41 Between 2002 and 2012, the number of air terminal passengers increased by 12 per cent for Scotland and 17 per cent for the UK as a whole. Over the past ten years, the number of passengers per head of population has been higher for Scotland than for the UK (4.2 vs. 3.5). [Table SGB1]
4.42 In 2012, 5.5 million passengers were carried on those shipping services within Scotland for which figures are available back to 1973 (i.e. Caledonian MacBrayne, P&O Scottish Ferries / NorthLink Orkney and Shetland, and Orkney Ferries). This was a decrease of 2 per cent on the previous year. Figure15 shows the long-term trends, which were affected by the reduction in traffic that followed the opening of the Skye Bridge in 1995. [Table S1]
Figure 15: Passenger numbers: rail, air and ferry (selected services)
NB: Break in series for ScotRail figures due to change in methodology from 2003/04 onwards.
Figure 16: Passenger numbers per head of population: rail and air