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Paper 12th October 2001 - TTSAC(01)2


1 Introduction

1.1 The purpose of this paper is to inform members of the Committee about recent and forthcoming developments in statistics about some aspects of transport in Scotland. Because the Committee has been set up as part of the Scottish Executive (SE) National Statistics consultation arrangements, this paper covers only the work of the SE Transport Statistics branch, as this is the body whose activities are likely to be influenced most by the advice of the Committee. However, other branches within SE and the Department for Transport, Local Government and the Regions (DTLR) also have statistics about transport in Scotland, and may wish to mention their developments.

2 Recent developments (SE Transport Statistics branch only)

2.1 Household Transport: some Scottish Household Survey results was published in January. This was the first bulletin consisting solely of Transport-related results from the SHS.

2.2 Bus and Coach Statistics 1999-2000 was published in March. This provided, for the first time, figures for the number of public service vehicles that have low floors, powered lifts/ramps or kneeling mechanisms.

2.3 Road Accidents Scotland 1999 was published in April (later than normal, due to problems with the data from some Police Forces' new computer systems, which were installed following changes to the statistical returns). It incorporated several improvements, including: a new Summary section; the publication, for the first time, of accident rates (per million vehicle kilometres) for minor roads and of information about the estimated distances between the accident location and the homes of drivers and casualties; for each local authority area, figures for fatal and serious casualties and child fatal and serious casualties for 1999 and for the 1994-98 average (the "baseline" for the national targets for reductions by 2010); and an Annex describing the changes made in 1999 to the statistical system, which showed the number of cases for each code for the variables which were introduced or revised.

2.4 Key 2000 Road Accident Statistics was published in June.

2.5 Scottish Transport Statistics (no. 20 / 2001 edition) was published in August. There were many improvements, such as new tables on vehicles by method of propulsion, the most popular new cars sold, a time-series for road freight tonne-kilometres, pollutants, petrol and diesel deliveries, and the most popular destinations for flights from Scotland. It also included a more detailed breakdown of rail passenger figures than had been provided for many years, and the Historical Series were extended back to 1960, where possible. In total, it had 32 pages more than the previous edition.

2.6 The GB-wide road accident statistics Quality Review was initiated, with the distribution in July to the members of the Liaison Group on Road Accident Statistics, and other contacts, of consultation papers. A meeting of LGRAS in October will discuss these matters.

2.7 TRL and TRI were commissioned (jointly) to look at ways in which the road traffic estimates for Scotland, and areas within Scotland, might be improved.

3 Forthcoming developments (SE Transport Statistics branch only)

3.1 This section describes the branch's current plans, which are, of course, subject to revision in the light of developments and the advice of the Committee.

3.2 Road Accidents Scotland 2000 should be published in November. It will include a four page section on statistics related to the casualty reduction targets for 2010 (the 1994-98 average, 1999 and 2000 figures for various road user types) and a new summary table showing the numbers of accidents and casualties by severity for each Police Force and local authority.

3.3 Two new bulletins of Scottish Household Survey results should be published in December: one analysing the Travel Diary results, the other giving a selection of Transportrelated results for local authority areas. The first of these will follow the completion of the work to develop the data collected by the SHS Travel Diary, after which an SHS Travel Diary dataset will be deposited at the ESRC Data Archive.

3.4 Household Transport in 2000 should be published in February 2002. This will probably be a fairly straightforward update of the bulletin published in January 2001, with most of the tables modified to compare some figures for 1999 and 2000.

3.5 Bus and Coach Statistics 2000-2001 should be published in March 2002.

3.6 Conditional upon funding being obtained for the continuation of the SHS (the current contract covers interviewing to the end of 2002), the branch will start to review its Transport related content, and contribute to the wider review of the survey.

3.7 Continue to participate in the GB-wide road accident statistics Quality Review, considering suggestions and developing proposals for changes which would be made to the statistical system with effect from 2004. Consult members of LGRAS about these in late Spring or early Summer 2002.

3.8 Users of Road Accidents Scotland will be consulted about possible changes for the "2001" edition, which will be the first to include detailed comparisons with the baseline figures for the targets for reductions in casualties by 2010 (instead of the previous comparisons with the baselines for the targets for 2000).

3.9 In the light of the results of the study by TRL and TRI, with DTLR and others, consider how the estimates of road traffic volumes for Scotland, and areas within Scotland, might be improved.