Car and bus travel up since start of coronavirus lockdown

Transport Scotland data showed an average of 1.2 trips per person per day for the week ending Sunday.

Travel: Scots urged to stick with lockdown. Pixabay
Travel: Scots urged to stick with lockdown.

Scots took slightly more car and bus journeys last week than they did at the beginning of the lockdown, according to the latest transport data.

Transport Scotland’s weekly trends for all types of travel showed an average of 1.2 trips per person per day for the week ending Sunday.

This was up slightly from the “lockdown baseline average” of 0.9 trips per person per day.

Transport secretary Michael Matheson urged Scots to stick to the lockdown measures and avoid leaving the house for non-essential journeys.

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He said the “overwhelming majority” of people are adhering to the guidelines, but there are some signs of more frequent travel.

Car traffic levels showed an increase of 20% compared to the start of lockdown, but trip distance information suggests this was predominantly local travel.

Concessionary bus travel is up by 20% from the lockdown baseline average.

The number of walking and cycle journeys has also increased since the start of the lockdown, though it varies from day to day based on weather conditions.

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Transport Scotland also examined public attitudes, finding people intend to use their cars more frequently in future to avoid public transport.

Matheson said: “I would like to thank and pay tribute to the clear overwhelming majority of people who are continuing to follow government guidance and limit travel to only essential journeys.

“This is a vital effort as we collectively continue to help protect the NHS and save lives.

“This week’s transport trend data shows some further upward movements in car traffic and concessionary travel since the lockdown began.

“Given these trends and ahead of a bank holiday weekend, we have to be absolutely clear, it is still as important as ever to only leave the house for essential journeys.”