Scots walked more short journeys last year

A greater proportion of short journeys under two miles were made on foot in Scotland last year, according to a survey of the country’s transport and travel habits

The Transport Scotland statisticians released yesterday from the Scottish Household Survey 2019, includes statistics about the journeys people make and how they travel.

The survey found that there was an increase in walking for short journeys, with the proportion of short journeys under two miles taken on foot rising from 44% in 2018 to 48% in 2019, although the figure had been 49% in 2012.

Analysis of the trips that people made in 2019 found that over half of journeys in Scotland (53%) were made by driving a car or van. A further 12% of journeys were as car or van passengers.

Walking was the second most popular mode of transport in 2019, accounting for 22% of journeys, up from 20% in 2018, but having dropped from 26% in 2012. Cycling accounted for 1.2% of journeys.

The National Performance Framework includes a National Indicator on ‘Journeys by active travel’, which monitors the proportion of short journeys that are made by the two main active travel modes: walking and cycling. The rise in the proportion of walking journeys means that performance on this indicator is improving. 

The proportion of journeys made by train was 2.3%, whilst respondents reported making the lowest share of journeys by bus (7.0%) since comparable records began in 2012, when the figure was 8.1%.

Other findings from the survey include:

  • Scottish householders are increasingly willing to consider buying an electric car. 48% of respondents said they would consider buying an electric car or van in the future, an increase from 36% in 2016.
  • An increasing percentage of women have driving licences. In 1999 52% of women had driving licences, and the proportion has steadily risen to 66% in 2019. The proportion for men has shown no increase over this period, with the percentage at 77% in both 1999 and 2019.
  • The proportion of people working from home increased from 7% in 1999 to 16% in 2019.


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