6 Travel to work and school
- Thirty per cent of respondents travelled to work by public or active transport, continuing the trend of little change in recent years. This figure provides an update to the indicator used in the Scottish Government's National Performance Framework which is considered to be 'performance maintaining'. [Table S3]
- Active travel accounted for 16 per cent (walking: 13.6%, cycling: 2.0%) and public transport 14 per cent (bus: 10.1%, rail: 4.3%) of all journeys to work in 2012. [Table S3]
- Females were more likely to walk or travel by bus to work than males, while males were more likely to drive to work than females.
- Forty per cent of car drivers and 32 per cent of passengers experienced delays to work at least once a week due to traffic congestion. [Table 8]
- Over a quarter of respondents regularly travelled to work using different modes on different days in 2012.
- Fifty-two per cent of all journeys to school were made by walking or cycling in 2012. The levels have remained relatively stable over the last ten years. [Table S3].
- Children in primary school were more likely to walk or be driven to school than children in secondary school. Secondary school pupils are more likely to catch a bus.
Travel to work
6.1 The Scottish Household Travel Diary shows that commuting is the most frequent purpose for travel in Scotland. The SHS travel to work data underpin Scotland's National Indicator on travel to work. More information on National Indicators, including more detail on the Travel to Work indicator can be found on the Scotland Performs website .
6.2 Thirteen per cent of employed adults worked from home in 2012. This is an increase of four percentage points since 2001. [Table S3] Since 2005, the proportion has been around 10 or 11 per cent so a figure of 13 per cent is a relatively large increase. This could be a result of changes to the survey methodology, rather than an actual change in the number of people working from home.
Mode of travel
6.3 Thirty per cent of respondents travelled to work by public or active transport, continuing the trend of little change in recent years. This figure provides an update to the indicator used in the Scottish Government's National Performance Framework and is considered to be 'performance maintaining' [Table S3]
2 Active travel accounted for 16 per cent (walking: 13.6%, cycling: 2.0%) and public transport 14 per cent (bus: 10.1%, rail: 4.3%) of all journeys to work in 2012. [Table S3] There has been little change in these proportions over the past decade.
6.1 In 2012, 67 per cent of adults travelled to work by car. Although there has been no change in the percentage travelling to work by car since 2001, there has been an increase in those driving, rather than being a passenger, with the percentage of those travelling as passengers falling from 11 per cent in 2002 to 6 per cent in 2012. This is likely to be due to increased access to cars and the number of households with more than one car since 2001. (Figure 18)
Gender and household composition
6.2 Respondents' methods of travelling to work were dependent on gender, with females more likely to walk than males (16% and 12% respectively), while males were more likely to drive to work than females. [Table 7]
6.3 Adults in single adult or single parent families were the most likely to walk to work or take the bus with adults in large families (ie three or more adults in a household) being the most likely to drive.
Employment status and income
6.4 Self-employed people were the least likely to travel to work by bus, and part time workers were the most likely to walk, this could be because people are less willing to travel longer distances for a part time job. [Table 7]
6.5 As household income increases respondents were more likely to drive to work and generally less likely to walk or take the bus. (Figure 17) [Table 7]
Figure 17: Main method of travel to work by annual net household income, 2012
Urban/rural and car ownership
6.6 Those living in large urban areas were more likely to use public transport to get to work (22% compared to the average for all adults of 14%), which is likely to be due to the increased accessibility and frequency of public transport services in these areas.
6.7 The more cars a household had access to the greater the likelihood of them driving to work. Those households with no cars generally took the bus (36%) or walked to work (40%). [Table 7] 83% of adults living in households with two or more cars drove to work, this could be the reason for owning the cars.
6.8 Around two-thirds of those who drove or travelled to work by bus reported that their journey had been delayed by congestion, with 40 per cent of drivers and 46 per cent of bus commuters experiencing congestion at least once a week. Sixty-five per cent of drivers and 63 per cent of bus passengers allowed more than 5 extra minutes travel time for their journey as a result. [Table 8]
Car sharing and travel plans
6.9 Fifteen per cent of respondents were involved in a car sharing arrangement in 2008-2012. The vast majority (89%) of these were arranged informally. The most common reason given for not car sharing was 'nobody in work lives near me' and that respondents did not work regular hours . [Table 11]
Changes to mode of travel
6.10 Most people had not changed their mode of travel for their journey to work from the previous year. Car/van drivers were the least likely to do this with 97 per cent of those using this method the previous year continuing to do so. Those who travelled by bike the previous year were least likely (except for those using 'other' modes) to still be using this method of travel (16% had changed to another mode). [Table 10]
6.11 The most common reasons cited for not cycling to work were that it was too far to cycle (36%), poor weather'(19%), that there were too many cars (14%), and that respondents did not have a bike (14%). [Table 26]
Alternative travel mode to work
6.12 Over a quarter of respondents regularly travelled to work using different modes on different days in 2012. Data from 2010-2012 shows that those who usually cycled to work were most likely to regularly use an alternative way of travelling to work, with 70% doing so. The most popular alternative modes were driving and walking respectively. This may be due to differing working patterns, weather conditions or participation in recreational activities.
6.13 Respondents who drove to work were least likely to use an alternative mode, with only 19 per cent citing another method (most commonly walking or bus). This contrasts with those who usually commuted as a car or van passenger, half of which regularly travelled to work by another means. The most common alternative mode for car passengers was bus.
Great Britain comparisons
6.14 Thirteen per cent of employed adults worked at or from home in Scotland in 2012. In contrast, 2012 National Travel Survey figures for Great Britain show that 5 per cent of employed adults usually work from home. The higher figures seen in Scotland will be in part due to different questions being asked but may also be due to the less accessible landscapes found in Scotland, which make it more demanding to travel to a workplace. SHS data supports this with a higher proportion of employed adults in rural areas working from home.
6.15 Great Britain figures from the National Travel Survey 2012 show walking accounts for 11 per cent of commuting trips, which is similar to the SHS 2012 figure of 14 per cent of people who walk to work.
Travel to school
6.16 Over half (51%) of journeys to school were made on foot in 2012 and there has been little change since 2002. The proportion of school pupils being driven to school has remained between 21 and 25 per cent since 2003. [Table S3]
6.17 How children travel to school is dependent on their age. Children in primary school, aged between 4-11, were more likely to walk or be driven to school than children in secondary, aged between 12-18. Secondary school children were more likely to take the bus than those in primary school. This is likely to be partly due to primary schools generally being closer than secondary schools, therefore people are more likely to walk, but also, many respondents from the survey indicated that they felt primary school children were too young to travel on public transport on their own. [Table 15]
6.18 The travel to school patterns reported in the Scottish Household Survey are broadly similar to those reported in the Sustrans Hands Up Scotland Survey, with walking being the most popular mode of transport (45.1% in Hands Up Scotland, with another 7.6% using 'park and stride', part driving, part walking). It is not possible to make direct comparisons due to differences in the survey methodology and questions asked.
6.19 Over half of children in towns and urban areas walked to school in 2012. Children in rural areas were much less likely to walk to school and tended instead to travel by school bus, which will in part be due to the distance to school. This service is less widely available in large urban areas, where 11 per cent of children used a conventional 'service' bus to get to school. [Table 15]
6.20 For those children who walked to school, 85 per cent stated the reason for walking was that the school was nearby. Those taking the bus and car cited convenience as the most common reason for mode choice, with many feeling that it was too far to walk and car travel was both the safest and quickest mode of travel. [Table 16]
Great Britain comparisons
6.21 The results have some differences with those found for Great Britain in the National Travel Survey (NTS). For instance, the proportion of pupils walking to school is lower in the NTS than the SHS (42% vs 51%) and the percentage being driven to school is higher (35% vs 24%).
6.22 It should be noted that NTS methodology differs slightly and there is a different geographical coverage between this and the SHS - the NTS excludes school journeys greater than 50 miles and the Scottish Islands are excluded from the sample.