Data poses key questions

Travel by car rises as Scots take fewer bus journeys

M8 road worksScots are increasingly turning to their cars in spite of campaigns encouraging greater use of public transport.

Over the past five years road, air, rail and ferry traffic have increased while bus passengers and cycle traffic have seen a decrease.

The latest data from Transport Scotland showed five million fewer bus journeys last year, a fall of 1.5% and 42 million fewer than five years ago, a fall of 7.6%.

There were 48 billion vehicle kilometres travelled on Scotland’s roads in 2017, a 3% increase on the previous year.

Car traffic is estimated to have increased by 2% over the year to 36.2 billion vehicle kilometres and pedal cycle traffic is estimated to have increased by 0.7% to 290 million vehicle kilometres in 2017, although cycle use has fallen over five years.

The number of commuters travelling by car or van rose slightly to 67.7% last year, while the number taking the bus fell to a record low 9.8%, statistics which may influence those councils considering the controversial car park levy.

The statistics show that of public transport journeys 74% were made by bus; 19%; 5% by air and 2% by ferry.

Despite frustrations over delays and the rising cost of rail travel there were 97.8 million passenger journeys on ScotRail services in 2017/18, an increase of 4% since 2016/17.

There were 28.8 million air passengers at Scottish airports in 2017, an increase of 7% in the last year.

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