Scottish passengers get off the bus and walk


Bus ridership in Scotland has fallen to its lowest modal share since comparable records began.

Passengers in Scotland made the lowest share of journeys by bus (7.0%) in 2019 since the latest records began in 2012 when the figure was 8.1%.

Walking was on the rise in Scotland last year but the car remains the country’s dominant mode of transport.

The Scottish Government has published Transport and Travel in Scotland 2019, based on the wider Scottish Household Survey.

Transport Scotland highlighted that the proportion of journeys under two miles that were made on foot rose from 44% in 2018 to 48% in 2019, but acknowledged that the figure had been 49% in 2012.

Similarly, while walking was the second most popular mode of transport (for all journeys) in 2019, having risen from 20% of journeys in 2018 to 22% in 2019, it has dropped from 26% in 2012.

Cycling accounted for 1.2% of journeys in 2019, down from 1.4% the previous year. The Scottish Government has a longstanding target, which it has conceded is unlikely to be met, for '10% of everyday journeys to be made by bike, by 2020'.

However, Transport Scotland pointed out that the devolved administration’s National Performance Framework includes a National Indicator on ‘Journeys by active travel’, which monitors the proportion of short journeys that are made by walking and cycling.

‘The rise in the proportion of walking journeys means that performance on this indicator is improving.'

Over half of journeys in Scotland in 2019 were made by driving a car or van (53% - the same as last year), while further 12% were as car or van passengers.

An increasing percentage of women have driving licences. In 1999, 52% of women had driving licences, which rose to 66% in 2019. The proportion for men was at 77% in both 1999 and 2019.

Respondents reported just 2.3% of journeys were made by train.

The report points out that while rail travel makes up only a small proportion of total journeys, the percentage of journeys that are made by rail has increased since 2012.


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