Scotland's car traffic up as bus numbers fall


Congestion in Scotland fell slightly last year, despite a 2% increase in car traffic, while the number of bus passengers fell by nearly 4%.

The Transport and Travel in Scotland 2016 bulletin provides updates to two of Scotland’s National Indicators – congestion, in which performance was defined as being held steady or ‘maintaining’, and public and active travel to work, which also showed performance broadly unchanged.

Scottish transport minister Humza Yousaf

Car traffic totalled 35.4 billion vehicle kilometres in 2016, up 2% on the 2015 total (34.7 billion vehicle km). However, a slightly lower proportion (11.7%) of driver journeys were perceived to be delayed by congestion than in 2015 (12.4%).

In total, 30.6% of journeys to work were by public or active travel, a decrease on 2015 (31.4%).

There were 393 million bus passenger journeys during the year, down 3.8% on 2015 (409 million).

Transport minister Humza Yousaf said the figures ‘highlight that while advances are being made in building a cleaner and greener transport system there is still work to do’.

He said: ‘It is welcome that the overall share of walking journeys has increased and there has also been an increase in the number of pupils walking and cycling to school. Performance is being maintained in public or active travel to work and the distance cycled in the last five years has increased by 13.5%.

‘The Scottish Government wants to see more progress and we have doubled our active travel budget, from £40m to £80m, to help achieve our ambitious targets in this area.’

Compared to 2015, the biggest changes were the fall in bus passenger numbers an increase of 3.8% in the number of air passengers, bringing the total increase in air passengers to 22.7% since 2012 .

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