Two-thirds of people in Scotland satisfied with public transport - survey

Two-thirds of people are satisfied with public transport, a new study has found. Picture: Jeff J Mitchell/Getty
Two-thirds of people are satisfied with public transport, a new study has found. Picture: Jeff J Mitchell/Getty
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Two thirds of people are satisfied with public transport despite a slight drop in approval, a survey has found.

The study of transport and travel habits found 69 per cent were very or fairly satisfied with public transport, a decrease from 72 per cent in 2016.

The Scottish Household Survey 2017 found there here were 98 million passengers carried by ScotRail in 2017-18, an increase on 94 million in the previous year.

Train use was found to be more common in higher income households, with 42 per cent of respondents with a household income of more than £40,000 using the train in the past month compared with only 23 per cent of survey respondents with a household income of less than £10,000.

It was also found that bus use was most common among younger people, with 68 per cent of 16 to 19-year-olds saying they had used the bus in the past month, compared to 53 per cent of those in their 70s and 43% of people in their 80s.

READ MORE: Scottish Government to invest £17m in green transport technology

The annual survey found the majority of travellers in Scotland continue to make most of their journeys by car.

Cars and vans were used for 65 per cent of journeys in 2017 - 52 per cent as driver and 13 per cent as a passenger.

The percentage of people who would consider buying an electric car or van increase to 41 per cent in 2017, up 5 per cent from the previous year.

Transport Secretary Michael Matheson said: “The figures today highlight the work we must continue in order to develop a greener and more sustainable transport network here in Scotland.

“I am confident that the policies of this government will bring us closer to that goal than ever before. There is much we can welcome in the areas of rail and aviation - and encouraging signs that perceptions around electric vehicles continue to improve.

“We are matching increasing rail demand with extra capacity and we are continuing to spend over £250 million a year to support our vital bus industry, working with operators to keep fares at affordable levels, and providing free bus travel to older and disabled passengers - where we have recently confirmed there will be no change to the age of eligibility for concessionary travel.”

Walking accounted for another 21 per cent of journeys, public transport 11% and cycling 1.5 per cent.

Most of the journeys people made were short in duration and distance, with more than half under 5km in distance and over two thirds lasting less than 20 minutes.

The median car journey was 6.8km, and the median walking journey was 0.9km.

The main reasons for travel were commuting and shopping but where people had used online shopping to have goods delivered to their home, they reported a reduction in travel made the next day in 73 per cent of cases.

Mr Matheson added: “While we are maintaining performance for walking and cycling, we are confident that the doubling of the active travel budget will help our partners deliver impactful infrastructure and behavioural change programmes which will revolutionise how we think about getting around, improving how we feel about our urban environment - benefiting our health, communities and our economy.

“I have witnessed a great deal of commitment and determination on the part of operators to further improve the services we use every day here in Scotland - and I want to thank the commitment of our public transport workers who strive every day to keep Scotland moving.

“This government will continue to support our essential public transport network and work to bring about a more sustainable transport system for all.”