Transport and Travel in Scotland 2015 - 27 September 2016
6. Public Transport, Aviation And Ferries
This section contains analysis and headline findings from the Scottish Household Survey questions on public transport (including the Travel Diary part of the survey), as well as comparisons with data from a range of other sources.
Satisfaction With Public Transport
Seventy four percent of people were very or fairly satisfied with public transport in 2015, a decrease on 2014 (75 percent). The proportion of people that are very satisfied has remained at 23 percent. [Table 4]
Local Bus Services
There were 407 million bus journeys made in Scotland in 2015/16, a reduction from 414 million in 2014/15. [Table SUM2]
Thirty one percent of adults used the bus at least once a week. Fifty-four percent had not used it in the past month. [Table 28]
Women tended to use buses more frequently than men (35% of women used the bus at least once a week compared to 28 percent of men). [Table 28]
Frequency of bus use was highest amongst younger people (only 34% of 16-19 year olds had not used the bus in the last month, compared to two thirds (64%) of those aged 40-49 and 52% of those aged 80+). [Table 28]
Frequency of bus use was also higher in urban areas (47% of people in large urban areas use the bus at least once a week compared to 11% in remote rural areas). [Table 28]
People were satisfied with most of the aspects of bus services asked about in the survey. Agreement was highest for respondents feeling safe and secure during the day (94%), for finding it simple to decide which ticket to use (89%) and for finding routes and times easily (86%). Lowest levels of agreement were with fares being good value (60%) and buses being environmentally friendly (66%). This question was not asked in 2015 and so data in this paragraph refer to 2014. [Table 29]
When asked what discourages them from using the bus more, 20 percent said they had no need to use the bus more, 19 percent of respondents said they used their own car and 16 percent gave no particular reason. Reasons around service provision (‘Takes too long’, ‘lack of service’ and ‘no direct route’) were each cited by over 10 percent of respondents. This question was not asked in 2015 and so data in this paragraph refer to 2014 [Table 41]
Further bus statistics can be found in the Bus and Coach Chapter of Scottish Transport Statistics.
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.
There were 148 million concessionary travel journeys in 2014 (the latest year for which data are available), accounting for 36 percent of all bus journeys in that year. [Table 2.2a Scottish Transport Statistics]
Eighty-seven percent of adults aged 60+ hold a National Concessionary Travel pass in 2015, a similar figure to previous years. Twenty eight percent of adults aged 16+ hold a pass. [Table 5]
Of those aged 60+, thirty nine percent have a card and use it at least once a week (12% use it every day or almost every day). Thirty one percent have a pass but hadn’t used it in the last month. [Table 32]
Those living in urban areas use their pass more frequently than those living in rural areas. Women use their pass more frequently than men (44% of women aged 60+ have a pass and use it at least once a week, compared to 34% of men aged 60+). [Table 32]
Statistics on concessionary journeys, and card holder numbers from the National Concessionary Travel administrative systems, are included in the Bus and Coach chapter of Scottish Transport Statistics.
There were 93.2 million passengers carried by ScotRail in 2014, an increase of 0.6 percent from 92.7 million in 2014, and an increase of 19 percent over the last five years. [Table SUM2]
Nine percent of the population (16+) reported using the train at least once a week in 2015. Seventy percent had not used the train in the last month, a reduction from 80 percent in 2005. [Table 28 and Table SUM1]
The proportion of people who reported that they hadn’t used the train in the last month increased with age (61% of those aged 16-19 hadn’t used the train in the last month, compared to 92% of those aged 80+). [Table 28]
Train use was higher in higher income households (78% of those interviewed with a household income of less than £15,000 had not used the train in the last month, compared to 57% for those in households with an income of more than £40,000. [Table 28]
Of those who had used the train in the last month, thirty nine percent had used it for a shopping trip. A quarter (26%) had used the train to visit friends / relatives. Ten percent had used the train in the course of work and 12 percent had used it for commuting in 2014. [Table 44]
People were satisfied with most aspects of rail services that the survey asks about. The level of agreement was highest with personal safety (97%), running to timetable, stability of service and ease of finding out about routes and times (91% for the latter three). The lowest level of agreement was with the statement that train fares are good value (57%). These question were not asked in 2015 so data in this paragraph refer to 2014.[Table 30]
When asked what discourages train users from using the train more, the main reason given, other than nothing (56%) or “no need” (17%) was cost (12%) with the next largest proportion being ‘no nearby station’(6%). For those who hadn’t used the train in the previous month, the main reasons were “nothing” (39%), “no need” (23%), “no nearby station” (16%), cost (10%) and “health reasons” (5%). These questions were not asked in 2015 so data in this paragraph refer to 2014. [Table 42 & 42a]
Detailed rail statistics can be found in the Rail Chapter of Scottish Transport Statistics.
Air terminal passengers increased by 5.9 percent between 2014 and 2015, from 24.1 million to 25.5 million. [Table SUM2]
Questions on aviation were not asked in 2015 so data in this section refer to 2014.
Of those who flew for leisure in the last 12 months, half made up to two flights (return flights count as two, as does changing flights). Ninety one percent flew eight times or fewer. [Table 37b]
Most people who flew for leisure flew to Europe. Of those who flew for leisure in the last 12 months, 76 percent made at least one flight to Europe in the previous year. Five percent made at least one flight within Scotland, 28 percent made at least one flight to the rest of the UK and 31 percent made at least one flight out of Europe. [Table 37b]
Of those who flew for business in the last 12 months, fifty seven percent made six flights or fewer but around one in five (19%) made more than 20 flights (returns count as two, as does changing flights). [Table 38b]
Most people who fly for business flew within the UK. Of those who flew for business in the last 12 months, 72 percent had flown to the rest of the UK. Thirteen percent had flown within Scotland, 33 percent had flown to Europe and 23 percent had flown outside of Europe. [Table 38b]
The majority of people flying for business or leisure within the UK did so because it was quicker than alternative modes (85%). Just under a quarter (22%) did so because it was cheaper, though this proportion has fallen slightly from 23 percent in 2013 and 28 percent in 2012. [Table 39]
Detailed aviation statistics can be found in the Aviation Chapter of Scottish Transport Statistics.
There were 7.81 million ferry passengers carried on routes within Scotland in 2015, a decrease of 0.9 percent from 7.88 million in 2014. [Table SUM2]
Questions on ferries were not asked in 2015 so data in this section refer to 2014.
Just over four percent of respondents had used the ferry in the last month. Three percent used a ferry once a fortnight or once a month and less than one percent used it more frequently. [Table 40a]
Just under half (46%) of people who had used a ferry had done so for a holiday or day trip. Twenty five percent had used a ferry to visit friends or relatives. Fifteen percent had used a ferry in the course of work and ten percent had used a ferry for a shopping trip. [Table 40b]
Two thirds (68%) of people chose to use the ferry because there was no feasible alternative. Eleven percent chose the ferry because it was quicker, nine percent said they chose the ferry as they could take their own vehicle and six percent said it was cheaper. [Table 40c]
Detailed ferry statistics can be found in the Water Transport Chapter of Scottish Transport Statistics.
Thirty three percent of journeys where rail was the main mode of transport had two or more stages. Ten percent had three or more. Five percent of journeys where service bus was the main mode of transport had two or more stages. [Table TD2c]
Most users (86%) reported no difficulties changing between modes of public transport. Six percent reported that they had a long wait between journeys and three percent reported not having enough time to change modes. A lack of information about connecting modes was reported by 2 percent of users. These questions were not asked in 2015 so data in this paragraph refer to 2014. [Table 45]