by The Scottish Office, offers a wide variety of information on
transport topics, such as motor vehicles, bus and coach travel, toll
bridges, air services and shipping services.
-- 2 million motor vehicles licensed in Scotland, around 28 per
cent more than 10 years earlier
-- 494 million passenger journeys on local bus services in
1995-96, 23 per cent less than in 1986-87
-- 26 per cent more goods lifted by road than 10 years earlier
-- over 55,000 vehicles per day crossing the Forth road bridge, 60
per cent more than 10 years earlier
-- around 5.5 million passengers at Glasgow Airport, 76 per cent
more than 10 years earlier
A selection of points from the 1997 edition of Scottish
Transport Statistics appear below, in the same order as the relevant
sections in the publication.
It should be noted that the most up-to-date figures available at
the time of going to press were, in some cases, for 1995, or for the
1995-96 financial year.
Motor vehicles licensed
The number of motor vehicles licensed in Scotland in 1996 was
2.0 million, three per cent more than the previous year, and is estimated
to be about 28 per cent more than the number in 1986.
There were 37 motor vehicles per 100 population in Scotland in
1995, 82 per cent of the rate for England and Wales. This was a higher
relative position than ten years earlier (in 1985 Scotland's rate was
75 per cent of that of England and Wales) but the gap has not changed
much since 1992.
The average age of private and light goods vehicles in Scotland
has increased, particularly in the past few years. The average was
6.3 years in 1996 compared with 5.1 years in 1990 and 4.9 years in
1986. Despite the increase, the average age of vehicles in Scotland in
1996 was still lower than the average for Great Britain (7.2 years in
Bus and coach travel
Passenger journeys on local bus services continued to fall. In
1995-96 there were 494 million passenger journeys on local services,
four per cent less than the previous year, and 23 per cent less than in 1986-87 (the earliest year for which figures appear in the publication).
The vehicle kilometres travelled by local bus services in 1995-
96 also fell compared to the previous year. However they were 16 per
cent higher than in 1986-87.
Local bus fares in 1995-96 increased less over the previous year
in Scotland than in Great Britain (3.9 per cent and 4.6 per cent
respectively). Over the longer term also, fares have increased less in
Scotland than in Great Britain. In current price terms, fares in Scotland in 1995-96 were 61 per cent higher than in 1986-87 compared to 75 per cent higher in Great Britain (the increase in the Retail Prices Index was 52 per cent).
Goods lifted by road in 1996 were two per cent higher than
1995, and 26 per cent higher than in 1986.
In 1996, 69 per cent of goods leaving Scotland by road were
destined for the three northerly regions of England, while these regions accounted for 71 per cent of all goods entering Scotland by road from the rest of GB.
It is estimated that in 1996 UK registered road hauliers carried
616,000 tonnes of goods from Scotland to mainland Europe and
258,000 tonnes from mainland Europe into Scotland. These figures
were five per cent higher and three per cent higher than in 1995.
Over 55,000 vehicles a day on average crossed the Forth bridge
in 1996, an increase of over four per cent on the previous year, and
60 per cent higher than in 1986.
On the Erskine bridge, crossings in 1996 averaged about 18,000
per day: over 10 per cent lower than the previous year, but 38 per cent higher than in 1986.
On the Tay road bridge, south-bound crossings in 1996
averaged around 10,000 per day, two per cent higher than the previous
year and eight per cent higher than in 1992, the earliest year for which figures on the current basis are available. (One-way tolls were
introduced on the Tay road bridge in 1991: north-bound crossings are
now free, and are not counted).
The Skye bridge was opened on October 16, 1995. On average,
over 1,600 vehicle crossings a day were made in 1996.
Trunk road constructed in 1995-96 was the lowest in the past
ten years, and was 68 per cent lower than the previous year (which was
unusually high). Trunk road strengthened or surface dressed in 1995-
96 was 32 per cent more than the previous year.
In 1995, 48 per cent of Scotland's major road traffic was on
motorways or non built-up trunk A roads (16 per cent on motorways
and 32 per cent on non built-up trunk A roads).
There were 13.3 million air terminal passengers at airports in
Scotland in 1996, seven per cent higher than the previous year, and
83 per cent more than in 1986.
The growth of air passengers was not uniform at all airports. At
Glasgow airport, terminal passengers in 1996 at 5.5 million increased
by 0.9 per cent on the previous year, and 76 per cent on 1986.
Passengers continued to increase at Edinburgh airport in 1996 to
3.8 million with a 16 per cent increase on the previous year and a
131 per cent increase on 1986.
Of those air passengers travelling on domestic routes in 1996,
London Heathrow accounts for over half of those travelling to or from
both Edinburgh and Glasgow, over a third of those travelling to or
from Aberdeen and over three quarters of those travelling to or from
Passenger traffic between Scotland and Europe fell in 1996 to
2.9 million, a four per cent decrease over the previous year. However,
passenger traffic to and from North America in 1996 rose to 457,000,
an increase of 15 per cent over the previous year. Passenger traffic
to Eire in 1996 continued to increase substantially to 463,000, 20 per
cent higher than the previous year.
Following the opening of the Skye Bridge in October 1995, in
1996 passengers and vehicles carried on shipping services in Scotland
decreased by 18 per cent (passengers) and by 25 per cent (vehicles)
respectively on the previous year. However loose freight carried
increased by 18 per cent on the previous year, and revenue from users
rose by three per cent.
Caledonian MacBrayne ferries carried 91 per cent of passengers
and 88 per cent of vehicles on all shipping services in Scotland in
1996, but they only accounted for 67 per cent of total revenue from
Caledonian MacBrayne's busiest route in terms of passengers
in 1996 was Wemyss Bay-Rothesay with nearly 700,000 passengers,
one per cent lower than the previous year, but still 25 per cent higher than 1986.
Passengers carried by P&O Orkney and Shetland services in
1996 were seven per cent higher than in 1995, and 28 per cent more
than in 1987 (the earliest year for which figures appear in the
publication). Cars and commercial vehicles carried by the P&O service
in 1996 were almost nine per cent higher than the previous year, and 52 per cent higher than in 1987. Passengers carried on Orkney Ferries
were seven per cent higher in 1996 than in the previous year,
continuing the substantial increase on this route, now more than
three times the number in 1987.
Expenditure on motorways and trunk roads in 1996-97 was
estimated at 204 million, ten per cent less than the previous year.
Within the total for 1996-97, expenditure on new construction and
improvements was estimated at 123 million, 13 per cent less than the
The average weekly household expenditure on transport and
vehicles over the financial year 1995-96 was estimated to be four per
cent lower than in 1994-95, but was still 79 per cent higher than the
average over the two year period 1985/86 compared with an increase of
56 per cent in the Retail Prices Index.
Within the total for 1995-96, the average expenditure on net
purchase of motor vehicles, spares and accessories was estimated to be
12 per cent less than in 1994-95.