7 Transport and Travel
7.1 Introduction and Context
An efficient transport system is essential to Scotland's economy, communities, environment, health and general well-being. Transport is important to everybody in Scotland, allowing them to reach workplaces or schools, access shops or local services, visit friends and family and enjoy leisure services. Improving transport and the associated transport choices in Scotland plays an important role in achieving the Scottish Government's overall Purpose: to focus Government and public services on creating a more successful country, with opportunities for all of Scotland to flourish, through increasing sustainable economic growth.
Two key transport National Indicators that are used to measure Government progress use Scottish Household Survey ( SHS) data, these are: reduce traffic congestion; and, increase the proportion of journeys to work made by public or active transport.
Transport Scotland publishes the Transport and Travel in Scotland ( TATIS) annual publication  which includes information on households' access to cars and bikes, frequency of driving, modes of travel to work and school (including an update to the National Indicator), use and opinions of public transport and access to local services. From August 2014, TATIS has included results from the SHS Travel Diary, covering information about travel by adults, including journey purposes and the means of transport used amongst others, as well as an update to the congestion National Indicator.
The SHS also provides a range of other transport-related information that can be used to understand travel patterns and choices across Scotland as well as monitoring progress on Scotland's Transport Strategy. This sets out current policy which aims to improve journey times and connections, reduce emissions, and improve the quality, accessibility and affordability of transport. This chapter focuses on the number of cars available to households and possession of driving licenses.
The proportion of households with at least one car for private use increased from 63 per cent in 1999 to 68 per cent in 2006. Car ownership has been relatively stable since with around seven in ten households (70 per cent) with at least one car available for private use.
Households living in rural areas are more likely to have access to a car compared to those living in urban areas in Scotland (around 83 per cent compared to 60 per cent in large urban areas).
Car availability is strongly associated with income and deprivation: in households with a net annual household income of over £40,000, almost all households (97 per cent) have access to at least one car compared to 51 per cent of households with net incomes of less than £6,001 and 37 per cent of households with net incomes between £6,001 and £10,000.
Overall around two-thirds (68 per cent) of adults aged 17 and over have a driving licence. In all age groups, more men had driving licences than women with the gap widening as age increases.
The number of males with a driving licence has dropped by three percentage points since 2014. This has led to a larger decrease in the gap between males and females with driving licences than has been observed previously. Overall, the gap between males and females has fallen since 1999 from 26 percentage points in 1999 to ten percentage points in 2015.
7.2 Cars and Driving
7.2.1 Access to Cars or Vans
Figure 7.1 shows changes in car and van availability over time. In the eight years from 1999 to 2007 the proportion of households with no access to cars fell by 7 percentage points (from 37 per cent to 30 per cent) and has been relatively stable since. This is balanced against the rise in households with access to multiple cars; households with access to two cars had risen from 15 per cent of all households in 1999 to 21 per cent in 2005 and has remained relatively stable since. Households with access to three or more cars has risen steadily since the survey started in 1999, but has been stable at 5 per cent over the last four years.
Figure 7.1: Household access to cars and vans by year
1999-2015 data, Household (minimum base: 10,330)
Car availability varies by rurality of the area (urban/rural classification) and net annual household income as shown in Table 7.1 and Table 7.2, respectively. There is a general trend of increasing car ownership as the level of rurality increases: rural areas also have higher levels of multiple car ownership with 38 per cent of remote rural areas having two or more cars compared to 19 per cent of households in large urban areas. Car availability has a strong positive relationship with net annual household income as shown in Table 7.2. Nearly all (97 per cent) of households with net annual income of more than £40,000 have access to at least one car compared to 51 per cent of households with net incomes of less than £6,001 and 37 per cent of households with net incomes between £6,001 and £10,000. Therefore, fewer households from groups with below average income levels have access to a car.
Table 7.1: Number of cars normally available to the household for private use by Urban Rural Classification
Column percentages, 2015 data
|Households||Large urban areas||Other urban areas||Accessible small towns||Remote small towns||Accessible rural||Remote rural||Scotland|
|No access to cars||40||30||22||30||12||17||30|
|At least one||60||70||78||70||88||83||70|
|Two or more||19||25||35||23||47||38||27|
Table 7.2: Number of cars normally available to the household for private use by net annual household income
Column percentages, 2015 data
|Households||£0 - £6,000||£6,001 - £10,000||£10,001 - £15,000||£15,001 - £20,000||£20,001 - £25,000||£25,001 - £30,000||£30,001 - £40,000||£40,001+||All|
|No access to cars||49||63||53||40||26||15||8||3||29|
|At least one||51||37||47||60||74||85||92||97||71|
|Two or more||13||6||7||11||19||30||45||64||27|
Due to missing income information "All" figures may not match between tables
Excludes refusals/don't know responses
Higher levels of deprivation are associated with car access as shown in Figure 7.2. Around half (52 per cent) of households in the 20 per cent most deprived areas of Scotland have no access to cars compared with close to a quarter (24 per cent) of households in the rest of Scotland. This difference is more pronounced when looking at households with two or more cars with only one in ten (11 per cent) of households in the 20 per cent most deprived areas of Scotland with two or more cars compared to three in ten (31 per cent) of households in the rest of Scotland. Part of the reason behind these findings will be the link between multiple deprivation and the urban rural classification, i.e. most areas in the 20 per cent most deprived are urban areas.
Figure 7.2: Number of cars normally available to the household for private use by Scottish Index of Multiple Deprivation
2014 data, Households (minimum base: 1,910)
7.3 Driving Licences
Overall around two-thirds (68 per cent) of adults in Scotland hold a driving licence with men more likely than women to hold one as shown in Figure 7.3. Adults are more likely to hold a driving licence as they get older up until the age of 60, when the trend reverses.
Figure 7.3: Adults with driving licences by gender and age
2015 data, adults aged 17 and over (minimum base: 310)
Figure 7.4 shows how the differences between males and females holding driving licences has changed since 1999 (when the survey began). There is a general downward trend in the proportion of males with driving licences, with the largest annual decrease in the number of males with a driving licence since the survey started being reported (three percentage point change since 2014). Conversely, there is an upward trend in the proportion of females with driving licences. This has led to a larger decrease in the gap between males and females with driving licences than has been observed previously. Overall, the gap between males and females has fallen since 1999 from 26 percentage points in 1999 to ten percentage points in 2015
Figure 7.4: Adults with full driving licences by gender and year
2015 data, adults aged 17 and over (minimum base: 4,210)