We have a new website go to gov.scot


This is an archived section of the Scottish Government website. External links, forms and search may not work on archived pages and content/contact details are likely to be out of date.

This page relates to the 2007 version of the National Performance Framework. Information about the current version of the NPF is available on the Scotland Performs Home Page.

SP Two Columns

Current Status

Although the proportion of driver journeys delayed due to congestion increased from 11% in 2003 to a peak of 14% in 2007, levels have been declining since. The 2010 figure (10.5%) is broadly comparable to 2003 and 2009 congestion levels.

More on traffic congestion

National Indicator


Reduce the proportion of driver journeys delayed due to traffic congestion

Reduce the proportion of driver journeys delayed due to traffic congestion

<Previous : Next>

Why is this National Indicator important?

We want to create a Scotland that is the most attractive place for doing business in Europe. Longer and unpredictable journey times, for cars, freight and public transport users, have significant economic impacts (both from higher direct costs of transport and the cost to business of a loss of competitiveness) and cause higher levels of emissions impairing both local and global air quality as well as contributing to climate change. The natural growth in trade that accompanies increased globalisation and economic growth has itself created more demands for transport services and this inevitably has occurred in the context of limited infrastructure capacity. In 2003, 8 of the 44 trunk road routes monitored in Scotland experienced serious or severe congestion for more than one hour per day.

What influences this National Indicator?

The rise in real incomes associated with economic growth influences the increasing demand for personal travel and the ever increasing levels of car ownership that are being witnessed. Changes in land use patterns and lifestyles have also made a significant contribution, for example the rise in long distance commuting and out-of-town shopping centres. As this measure is based on drivers' perceptions, local and temporary factors will also be important. Factors such as road maintenance or construction works, poor weather and accidents, as well as changes in people's sensitivity to delays, will influence whether a journey is reported as suffering congestion.

What is the Government's Role?

To set the framework for the provision of sustainable, integrated and cost-effective public transport and walking and cycling infrastructure as alternatives to the car, connecting people, places and work across Scotland. We aim to decouple ownership and usage of cars, persuading not punishing car users to use other modes. We are encouraging the increased use of flexi working in the public sector, and home working; we are working with local authorities to ensure every effort is made to fast track enhanced park and ride provision by bus or train or both; and we are working with the haulage industry to encourage consolidation of loads when doing deliveries into cities.

How are we performing?

The Scottish Household Survey Travel Diary shows that around 10.5% of journeys were perceived to have been delayed due to traffic congestion during 2010, similar to the 2009 level of 11.0%.

Percentage of driver journeys delayed due to traffic congestion, 2003 - 2010

Source: Scottish Household Survey: Travel Diary

View data on traffic congestion


This evaluation is based on: any difference within +/- 1.0 percentage points of last year's figure suggests that the position is more likely to be maintaining than showing any change. A decrease in the perception of delays of 1.0 percentage points or more suggests the position is improving; whereas an increase of 1.0 percentage points or more suggests the position is worsening.

For information on general methodological approach, please click here.

Further Information

Scotland Performs Technical Note

Statistics Topic Page

Who are our partners?

Transport Scotland

Local authorities

Regional Transport Partnerships


Cycling Scotland

Transport Operators

Related Strategic Objectives


Safer and Stronger

Wealthier and Fairer

View National Indicator data

Downloadable document:

Data for National Indicator on CongestionData for National Indicator on Congestion [XLS, 47.5 kb: 23 Nov 2011]
Open | Open in new window
 Viewer Help




Performance Improving


Performance Maintaining


Performance Worsening

no info

Performance data currently being collected