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National Travel Survey Scottish Results 2007-2008 main points

DescriptionProvides information about travel within Great Britain by Scottish residents, including average number of journeys per person per year, modes and purpose of travel, and distances travelled
Official Print Publication DateApril 2010
Website Publication DateApril 26, 2010

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A National Statistics Publication for Scotland

Scotland's Chief Statistician today publishes 2007-08 Scottish results of the GB National Travel Survey.

Distance and speed

  • Scottish residents travelled an estimated 7,056 miles per person per year (or 19 miles per day) within Great Britain in the two-year period 2007-08, a slight increase of 160 miles (2 per cent) since 1995-97.
  • Since 1995-97 the average trip length rose from 6.5 miles to 7.3 miles, with increases in business trips (17.7 to 21.6 miles), commuting trips (7.9 to 8.6 miles) and shopping trips (4.2 miles to 4.9 miles).
  • The average speed of journeys increased from 18.8 miles per hour in 1995-97 to 19.2 miles per hour in 2007-08.

Modes and purpose

In 2007-08, cars accounted for almost 75 per cent (5,247 miles) of the total distance travelled per person per year. Other modes include:

  • surface rail: 541 miles (or 8 per cent of total)
  • local bus: 478 miles (or 7 per cent of total)
  • other public transport: 371 miles (or 5 per cent)
  • walking: 196 miles (or 2 per cent)
  • cycling: 26 miles

Since 1995-97, the average distance travelled per person per year by rail doubled, from 269 miles to 541 miles in 2007-08.

In 2007-08, 77 per cent of all trips under a mile were made by foot with 21 per cent made by car. Fifty-six per cent of trips under 2 miles were made by foot and 37 per cent by car.

Shopping was the most frequent purpose of travel in 2007-08, accounting for 20 per cent of the average 965 trips per person per year. Commuting accounted for 17 per cent of trips and visiting friends at home accounted for 11 per cent.

Gender, age, economic status and household car availability

  • Women made more trips than men (1,488 vs. 1,318), but men travelled around 18 per cent further. Men travelled more trips as a car driver than women, (64 per cent vs. 42 per cent of distance travelled). Women travelled further than men as car passengers and by local bus.
  • Compared to the overall average distance per person per year, children travelled 35 per cent less, those aged 60+ travelled 22 per cent less, and those aged 30-59 travelled 29 per cent more.
  • People working part-time made 20 per cent more trips than the average for all adults, those working full-time made 6 per cent more trips than the average, and retired people made 19 per cent fewer trips.
  • People in households with cars averaged 16 per cent more trips than the overall average number of trips per person per year; people in households without a car averaged 56 per cent fewer trips than the overall average.

Frequency of walking, travel by holders of concessionary fare passes, and travel to school

  • Over a third of respondents said that they walked for at least 20 minutes (without stopping) at least three times per week, with a quarter doing so at least once or twice a week. However, a further quarter of people walked for at least 20 minutes less than once a year.
  • People aged 60 and over who held a concessionary fare pass made six times as many local bus trips per person as those without a pass, twice as many walking trips and 21 per cent fewer trips as a car driver.
  • The percentage of pupils walking to school fell from an estimate of 69 per cent in 1995-97 to 46 per cent in 2007-08. Over the same period, the percentage of pupils going by bus rose from 20 per cent to 23 per cent with those travelling by car rising from 25 per cent to 27 per cent.

The accompanying web-tables replace the previous statistical publication Travel by Scottish Residents: some National Travel Survey results.

The statistics presented here are based on the Department for Transport's GB National Travel Survey. Due to its low coverage in Scotland it is not designed to produce annual figures for Scotland, so samples for a number of years must be combined in order to produce Scottish results. Since 2002, the sample has included between 750 -1500 Scottish households per year may not be representative of the population of Scotland. The results are therefore subject to sampling errors, and should be regarded as broad indications (rather than precise measures) of people's patterns of use of transport.

Changes to the format of the NTS Travel Diary in 2007 has resulted in the under-recording of short trips in 2007 and 2008, therefore figures should be taken with caution. Most affected are walks under 1 mile and short car trips under 5 miles. Further information is available on the Department for Transport website.