Public transport gets vote of confidence

27.4% of the Capital's population use the bus every day
27.4% of the Capital's population use the bus every day
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EDINBURGH has the highest satisfaction rate for public transport out of Scotland’s main cities.

The Capital has by far the biggest proportion of the population using buses every day.

And almost nine out of ten residents said they were happy with public transport.

Data from the latest Edinburgh by Numbers publication shows a satisfaction rate of 89 per cent – up from 86.5 per cent in 2012 – compared with 82 per cent in Glasgow and 73.5 per cent across Scotland.

The data also shows Edinburgh’s trams have the second highest number of passengers per stop per day out of six UK city networks.

The Capital’s figure of 1490 was behind Manchester on 1680, but well ahead of Sheffield on 1030 and Blackpool on 800. Edinburgh recorded a total of 5.5 million passengers, with only Blackpool lower at 4.9 million, while the Manchester trams attracted 36 million.

But the length of the Edinburgh tram route is by far the shortest at 8.7 miles and 16 stops, compared with Manchester’s 57 miles and 93 stops.

More than one in four of Edinburgh’s population – 27.4 per cent – use the bus every day, compared with 17.7 per cent in Glasgow and a Scottish average of 11.7 per cent.

A breakdown of people’s main mode of transport showed Edinburgh with the highest proportion of residents – 18.5 per cent – saying they mostly travelled by bus out of the four biggest Scottish cities.

The Capital was second for walking at 29.9 per cent – compared with 34.8 per cent for Dundee. It was joint top for cycling with Aberdeen, at 3 per cent.

Edinburgh and Aberdeen were also lowest for the car as the main mode of transport, at 43.5 per cent.

Only 0.8 per cent of people in Edinburgh said rail was their main form of transport.

Neveretheless, the figures show a steady rise in rail passengers, with numbers at Edinburgh’s Waverley station climbing from 18 million in 2012 to 21.7 million last year.

Passengers at Haymarket also rose, from 2.1 million to 2.6 million.

The pattern of air travel changed significant over the same period, with the number of domestic passengers at Edinburgh Airport declining from 6.1 million in 2012 to 5.2 million last year, while international passengers more than doubled from 3.1 million to 6.9 million.

Spain was easily the most popular destination form Edinburgh Airport, with a total of 1,035,120 passengers flying there last year, compared with Ireland, the next most popular, with 677,970.

Transport convener Lesley Macinnes said: “As the population continues to rise these figures demonstrate the importance of a world-class, integrated public transport system for Edinburgh, which we hope to build upon by extending the tram to Newhaven.”