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Paper 25th September 2002 - TTSAC(02)6


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 (DfT) also have statistics about transport in Scotland, and their representatives at the meeting may wish to mention developments in their areas.

1.2 Members of the Committee should receive a copy of each of the branch's publications within a few days of it being published. Please contact the Secretary if you did not receive a copy of any of the publications listed in Section 2.

2 Recent developments (SE Transport Statistics branch only)

2.1 Travel by Scottish residents: some National Travel Survey results for 1998/2000 and earlier years was published in April. This was an updated version of the previous edition, with its 36 pages including one extra table and two new charts.

2.2 Household Transport in 1999 and 2000: some SHS results was published in May. Its 60 pages included, for the first time, statistics on changes in the number of motor vehicles available to the household, personal mileage driven, vehicle mileage and the amount spent on public transport. The previous edition's tables on the accessibility and frequency of bus services, and on reasons for not using bus services more often, were omitted, as they now appear in the Bus and Coach Statistics bulletin.

2.3 We also published further SHS Transport-related results in short articles for the quarterly Scottish Transport Review.

2.4 Key 2001 Road Accident Statistics was published in June. It was expanded to 20 pages (including three new tables, three new charts and some extra text), in order to show better the long-term trends in the numbers of casualties of different severities and to report on progress towards the casualty reduction targets for 2010.

2.5 With colleagues in DfT and NAW, we are involved in the GB-wide road accident statistics Quality Review. The June meeting of the Liaison Group on Road Accident Statistics discussed the likely changes to the "STATS 19" returns and some other matters, including whether there was any need for procedures to deal with certain types of problem and whether there was any need to release quarterly statistics for Scotland.

2.6 We considered the responses to our survey of users of Road Accidents Scotland, consulted LGRAS about revised proposals for changes to the publication, and have now finalised the list of changes for Road Accidents Scotland 2001, in the light of LGRAS members' comments.

2.7 We contributed to the selection of the contractors for the Scottish Household Survey for the next four years and, with policy colleagues, made the case for the Transport-related questions for inclusion in the SHS with effect from 2003. A process is underway to decide which questions should be added to the survey, and which of the current questions should be dropped to make "space" for the new ones - but, at the time of writing, the content of the questionnaire for 2003 has not yet been finalised.

2.8 TRL and Napier University Transport Research Institute (TRI) have produced the final report of their study of ways in which the road traffic estimates for Scotland, and areas within Scotland, might be improved.

2.9 Scott Brand joined the branch towards the end of July, filling the Executive Officer post which had been vacant for about three months.

2.10 Scottish Transport Statistics no. 21 / 2002 edition was published in August. There were only a few improvements, because of the effect of the branch's Executive Officer vacancy.

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 The branch will assist with the development of new Transport-related questions, which will be included in the Scottish Household Survey with effect from 2003, and contribute to other SHS developments, including the introduction of new arrangements for processing some of the data (which will see the contractors taking over some of the work currently done by the branch).

3.3 The documentation of the Scottish Household Survey Travel Diary data, including the procedures used for imputation, will be finalised. An anonymised SHS Travel Diary dataset for 1999 and 2000 will be deposited at the UK Data Archive.

3.4 Road Accidents Scotland 2001 should be published in November. It will be revised 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), and in other ways, in the light of the survey of users of the publication.

3.5 Household Transport in 2001: some Scottish Household Survey results should be published in December. This will be an update of the bulletin published in May. Most of the tables will be modified to compare some figures for 1999, 2000 and 2001. The bulletin will also analyse some Transport-related questions that were added to the survey at the start of 2001.

3.6 Scottish Household Survey Travel Diary results (1999 to 2001 edition) should be published in February 2003.

3.7 We will also publish further SHS Transport-related results in short articles for the quarterly Scottish Transport Review.

3.8 Bus and Coach Statistics 2001-2002 should be published in March 2003.

3.9 The branch will continue to participate in the GB-wide road accident statistics Quality Review. We will distribute details of the review's conclusions, and documentation of the new "STATS 19" format etc that will apply from (probably) January 2005, once available, to members of the Liaison Group on Road Accident Statistics and other interested parties. LGRAS will meet in Spring 2003, to discuss the outcome of the review and the implementation of the changes that will by then have been recommended, in order that Police Forces and Councils will be fully aware of what they must do to amend their systems to take account of the changes.

3.10 Key 2002 Road Accident Statistics should be published in June 2003.

3.11 Scottish Transport Statistics no. 22 / 2003 edition should be published in July or August 2003. If time permits, we will consider restructuring the chapters, in order to facilitate the publication on the SE Web site, in the 6-9 months following the appearance of each edition, of updated versions of some of the tables, in cases where further year's figures become available several months before the publication of the next edition.

3.12 The Transport Delivery Report, which was published in March, stated (on page 17) that the Executive would publish indicators, "based upon work undertaken by a sub-group of the National Transport Forum for Scotland", which will "illustrate progress against the core themes in the Executive's transport policy". The branch will contribute to the production of these indicators, and to their updating in due course.

3.13 At the meeting, Duncan Gray will say what SE may do (with DfT and others) in the light of the results of the study by TRL and TRI on the estimates of road traffic volumes for Scotland, and areas within Scotland.