Scottish transport trend data shows slow recovery in user numbers

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Monitoring by Transport Scotland (TS) of transport trends during the Covid-19 outbreak has shown a small increase in use compared to pre-pandemic levels over recent weeks. The information gathered by TS, which is used to help determine Scottish policy in relation to resilience and response to the outbreak, provides a snapshot of travel across main modes when compared to a pre-pandemic baseline, which for most modes is the same period in 2019. The figures use data from a variety of sources, including the DfT’s National Travel Survey, data published in Scottish Transport Statistics, and data collected by operators across the transport networks.

For the period of 12 – 18 April 2021, figures showed that walking journeys were up by 10%, concessionary bus journeys down by 60%, rail and air journeys down by 80%, ferry journeys down by 70% and car journeys down by 25%, compared to 2019, whilst there was no change to cycling.

In the following period between 19 and 25 April, walking journeys again increased by 15%, and cycling journeys were up by 10%. Concessionary bus journeys were down by 55%, meaning a slight increase in the number of travellers. Rail and air journeys were both still down by 80% on pre-pandemic levels, and ferry use had fallen further, down 75% on pre-pandemic levels. Car journeys were down by 20%, again reflecting a slight increase in travel.

For the latest period of 26 April – 2 May, the statistics showed walking journeys down by 10%, cycling journeys down by 25%, and concessionary bus journeys down by 50%, the latter again showing a small increase in the number of travellers. There was also a slight increase in rail travel, with journeys now down by 70%, and a jump in ferry travel, which reached 50% of pre-pandemic levels. Air journeys remain unchanged at 80% below ‘normal’, whilst car journeys were only down by 10% on ‘normal’ figures from 2019.