Transform Scotland heralded the resilience of public transport and active travel as the latest Scottish Transport Statistics show a marked increase in journeys in 2021/22 compared to the previous year with cycling showing an increase of 19% compared to pre-pandemic 2019.
Colin Howden, director of sustainable transport charity Transform Scotland, said:
“The transport sector has worked hard to recover patronage since the pandemic. These figures show that effort is now bearing fruit with a rise of 87% in bus patronage and 225% rail patronage in just one year. While bike use has declined since its highpoint during the 2020 lockdown, we’re pleased that it continues its overall upward trend, rising by half again in the past five years.
“These upward trajectories need to continue to meet our carbon reduction targets and we welcome the investment planned by the Scottish Government to move people on to public transport and encourage the take-up of active travel. However, the end of the Covid support grants for bus services at the end of this month risks undermining this progress at a time when bus patronage levels remain significantly below where they were prior to the pandemic.”
However, Transport Scotland also report that “Motor traffic also rose in 2021. The distance driven by motor vehicles on roads increased by 15% over the past year to hit 43.4 billion vehicle kilometres in 2021 and the number of motor vehicles registered in Scotland (3.1 million) is at an all-time high.”