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New transport stats: Paying the price for a decade of spending on trunk roads

Published 10 September 2019 by Transform Scotland

Commenting on today’s new transport statistics, ‘Transport and Travel in Scotland’, [1] Transform Scotland director Colin Howden commented:

“Today’s new statistics come as no surprise. We’re paying the price for a decade where the bulk of new capital spending has gone into new trunk roads rather than investing in local transport such as walking, cycling and buses.

“Despite last week’s welcome announcement of £500m investment in bus services announced as part of the Programme for Government, the Scottish Ministers’ expenditure plans remain grotesquely skewed towards supporting more car use, with £6,000m devoted to just two roads (the A9 and A96 dualling projects).”

Amongst other things, the new statistics show:

* Limited progress in increasing cycle use, and a worrying decline in walking.
* Further evidence of the decline in bus use.
* Increasing single occupant car use (up 10 percentage points over the past 20 years).

Howden concluded:

“There is no reasons why Scotland shouldn’t be performing better on sustainable transport. Today’s figures show that the majority of all journeys are short in distance, the type of journeys where many more should be being made on foot, by bike and by bus.” [1]

[1] https://www.transport.gov.scot/publication/transport-and-travel-in-scotland-2018/

[2] See https://www.transport.gov.scot/news/cabinet-secretary-comments-on-transport-statistics/ for Scottish Government comment.

[2] Figure 14 shows that 29.6% of all journeys are less than 2 km in length, and 53.1% of all journeys are less than 5km in length.