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Paper 29th November 2004 - TTSAC(04)7


1 Introduction

1.1 The purpose of this paper is to inform members of the Committee about recent and forthcoming changes to the Scottish Household Survey (SHS). Members of the Committee who are (or who may become) users of the SHS are invited to:

  • ask any questions that they may have regarding the changes to the SHS for 2005 and the forthcoming Quality Review of the survey;
  • note that further information about the Review will be sent to them when it starts;
  • thereafter, contribute to the Review as appropriate (e.g.) to provide information about their use of the SHS's results and to give their views on how it should be developed.

1.2 Some other information about the SHS, such as some recent and forthcoming publications of Transport-related results of the survey, is given in another paper.

2 Changes to the SHS for 2005 and 2006

2.1 Members of the Committee will recall being consulted on changes to the SHS Transport related questions for 2005 and 2006. Frank Dixon's e-mail of 1 April 2004 sought comments on proposals for changes to the existing questions (which would create "space" for new Transport-related questions), suggestions for changes to the current questions, and suggestions for new questions or topics for inclusion in the survey.

2.2 The responses from Committee members and colleagues within the Executive were combined into a set of proposed changes to the Transport-related questions. These were considered by the SHS Technical Group, along with proposals for changes submitted by those who are responsible for other topic areas. A provisional summary list of the changes to the SHS's "Transport" questions is provided as an Annex. It is not intended that any further changes will be made later in 2005 or 2006.

2.3 The SHS contractors are revising the SHS questionnaire, so that the new questions can be introduced at the start of 2005 for all interviews apart from those, in January 2005, which "mop up" outstanding addresses from the sample for 2004. It is expected that the first results from the new questions, which will relate to the first quarter of 2005, will become publicly available around the end of August 2005.

3 The Quality Review of the SHS - for 2007 to 2010

3.1 The current contract for the SHS covers interviewing in, producing the datasets for, and reporting the main results for, the years from 2003 to 2006, inclusive. A new contract will be required if the survey is to continue in 2007 and later years. The Scottish Executive will therefore conduct a Quality Review of the SHS, which will establish whether there is a continuing need for the survey and (assuming that is the case) determine the overall "size" and "shape" of the survey for the period of the next contract, which (on the basis of past practice) would be 2007 to 2010, inclusive. The paragraphs which follow describe the likely arrangements for the Review (at the time of writing, these have not yet been finalised).

3.2 The Review will be conducted by a Review Team, and overseen by a Review Board. These will include representatives of users, and (perhaps) a survey expert and/or methodologist, from outwith the Scottish Executive. An external contractor may be commissioned to carry out some of the work (e.g. to survey users of the SHS, or to conduct focus groups of users, or to interview some users in depth - the contractor may suggest other ways in which users might be consulted). A paper describing the scope of the Review, the method of proceeding and the expected timetable will be made available on the SHS Website www.scotland.gov.uk/shs. Other information about the Review (e.g. details of how to participate, and Review Board papers) will also be put there as the Review progresses.

3.3 When the Review starts, details will be sent to:

  • members of the Committee;
  • the TRi/TSUG and ScotStat Transport e-mail lists;
  • the SHS users e-mail list;
  • other interested parties.

3.4 The main stages of the Review are likely to be:

  • Spring 2005 - user consultation, which might involve some (and perhaps all) of the following:
  • a questionnaire survey of users, to establish (e.g.) which topics people use, for what purposes, how well the SHS meets their needs and what changes they would like to see;
  • "in depth" discussions with some users, to understand better and develop further points from any completed questionnaires and other Review activity;
  • focus groups and/or a user seminar to discuss issues raised in the Review;
  • Summer 2005 - Review Team considers points made, explores possible options, develops proposals;
  • Autumn 2005 - final report agreed by the Review Board.

3.5 Assuming that the Scottish Executive decides that the SHS should continue, the subsequent steps are likely to be:

  • late 2005 - SE develops specification for the next SHS contract;
  • early 2006 - SE issues invitations to tender;
  • Spring 2006 - contract awarded
  • Spring / Summer 2006 - consultation on the details of the questions for 2007 onwards (the Review in 2005 will consider which topics should be included, but not the detail of the questions to be asked);
  • Autumn 2006 - questionnaire developed and piloted;
  • January 2007 - new questionnaire goes "live".

3.6 Members of the Committee are reminded that the above paragraphs describe the likely arrangements for the Review - they have not yet been finalised.



1. Final decisions have still to be taken on some of the changes for 2005;

2. The question references (or the names of the variables), and their location in the questionnaire, will not be known until the contractors have prepared the CAPI script. So, at present, some of the entries in the first column contain suggestions for the location of new questions (or are blank);

3. One cannot add new questions without first making "room" for them, because the average interview length is fixed by the contract (and limited by the danger of "respondent fatigue"). So, from January 2005, some questions will dropped to make way for others which will collect more useful information. And, some questions will be asked only of a randomly-chosen half of the sample (or only of those in the relevant sub-group who are in a randomly -chosen half of the sample) in order to make "room" to ask more questions without increasing the interview length (e.g. questions about the reasons for the choice of mo de of travel to school will be asked only if the "random schoolchild" household is in a randomly-chosen half of the sample ).

4. Within each topic, "filters" (e.g. "if person has heard of it") apply to all subsequent questions, unless the appearance of another filter (e.g. "if person has used it") indicates otherwise.

New questions (all will be asked of a randomly -chosen adult member of the household)

after "Usual means of travel to work / education" (RD3)

Other purpose(s) of car/van commuting journey - asked of those who drive to work/education

  • what else (if anything) do you do in the course of your journey towork/education (e.g. "take child[ren] to school", etc)
after "Car use for various journeys" (CARDEP - MODECHNG)

Traffic growth

  • is person worried by, or content with, traffic growth
  • if worried, what worries the person (e.g. "busier roads", congestion, "parking problems" etc)
after "Traffic growth"

Traffic congestion - asked of those who drive at least once a week

  • how often drives in congested traffic
  • if has done so in the past couple of weeks, what impact does congestion have on him/her (e.g. "longer journey time", "stress", etc)
  • what (if anything) does he/she think should be done about it (e.g. build more roads, "more children should walk to school", etc)
after "Traffic congestion"

View on road charging

  • person's view
after "Frequency of walking" (RE8 - RE9)

Motorcycling - asked if holds a full or provisional driving licence

  • whether owns and/or rides a motorcycle
  • if so, for what purposes (e.g. "travel to/from work" etc)
  • which is the main purpose
  • estimated annual mileage
  • how long has person owned a motorbike
after "Users' views on rail services" (RE10E)

Non-users' views on rail services - asked of those in a randomly-chosen half of the sample who had not used a train service in the past month

  • on time?
  • fares good value?
  • safe and secure?

RE4 (reinstated) - after views on rail services

Expenditure on public transport fares in past seven days

after "Expenditure on public transport fares"

Community transport - asked if in small town or rural area

  • whether uses community transport (as defined in question)
  • if so, for what purposes (e.g. "travel to/from work")
  • which is the main purpose

RE13, RE14 (reinstated) plus two new questions - just before "Journey planning" (CARPLAN, PTPLAN)

Road accidents

whether injured in a road accident in the past year

if so, when did it occur (month and year)

what type of road user (e.g. "driver of vehicle", etc)

were the Police informed of the accident

after "Transport Direct" (TDAWARE - TDBAD2)

Traveline Scotland

  • has person heard of it
  • if so, where heard of it (e.g. "newspaper report or advert", etc)
  • has person ever used it
  • if so, how many times in the past two weeks
  • how person prefers to use it
  • if person has heard of it, whether would use certain new means, if provided (e.g. "kiosk at bus/train station", etc)
  • if person has used it, has using it led to a change from "car" to public transport
  • if so, how often in the past two weeks

after "Concessionary fare pass" (RG6AN)

Use of concessionary fare pass - asked of those who answered RG6AN by saying that they had one

  • how often is it used (e.g. "every day", etc)

Questions which will be changed


Reasons for change of mode of travel to work / education

  • add more pre-coded answers


How often have you used a train service in the past month

  • minor change to the wording of one answer


Means of planning car/van and public transport journeys

  • add more pre-coded answers

RE20, RE32, RE40,


Number of occupants in car for this part of the journey

  • do not ask if person was a passenger (NB: these questions will still be asked if the person was a driver)


Reasons why public transport journeys were delayed

  • add more pre-coded reasons

Questions which will, from January 2005, be asked only of a randomly-chosen half of the sample (or only of the appropriate cases in a randomly-chosen half of the sample)


Reasons for choice of mode of transport to school

HE16, HE17

Reasons for not using public transport to travel to school


Reasons for choice of usual mode of transport to work / education

RD8, RD8aN, RD8B

Reasons for not using public transport to travel to work / education; which is main reason; why "inconvenient" and/or "use own car"

RD9, RD9aN, RD9B

Reasons cannot use public transport to travel to work / education; which is main reason; why "inconvenient" and/or "use own car"


Whether makes different types of journey; how easy/difficult it would be to make each one without a car

RE6, RE7

Number of days in seven days cycled (a) to go somewhere and (b) for pleasure or to keep fit

RE8, RE9

Number of days in seven days walked (a) to go somewhere and (b) for pleasure or to keep fit

RE12, RE12AN, RE12B

What discourages you from using buses more often; which is main reason; why "inconvenient" or "use own car"


Method of planning car / van journeys

Questions to be removed


Whether works "flexi-time"


Whether some of working hours are spent at home; balance between working at home and elsewhere; average percentage of working hours spent at home


Availability of car when working at/from home, and (if so) whether it is used for business then

RD4, RD5

Whose car/van is used for travelling to/from work, and type of parking used