Traffic Causing More Road Delays

A higher proportion of driver journeys were delayed due to congestion last year despite moves to reduce traffic on the roads.

New figures on transport and travel in Scotland show that 11.7% of driver journeys were delayed as a result of congestion, up from 9.7% in 2013 but lower than the peak of 14.3% in 2007.

The Scottish Government wants to reduce traffic congestion by encouraging motorists to use other forms of transport.

The latest data shows little change in the number of people choosing to travel to work by public transport or by cycling and walking, another key measure of progress.

Only 29.8% of journeys to work were by public or active travel in 2014, a similar proportion to 30.7% the year before.

The figures, taken from the Scottish Household Survey, show 13% of journeys to work were on foot, 10% were by bus, 4% were by train and 2.6% were by bicycle.

The top two reasons given by people for choosing not to cycle were distance and there being too much traffic on the roads.

Almost half (48%) of people who drove to work said they could use public transport but the main reasons for not doing so were journey duration and inconvenience.

Overall, cars and vans remained the most popular mode of transport and were used for two-thirds of all journeys.

Walking and cycling accounted for another quarter and roughly 10% were by public transport.

Three-quarters (75%) of people reported being satisfied with public transport last year, an increase from 71% the previous year.

A Transport Scotland spokeswoman said record amounts were being invested in sustainable transport, highlighting 27km (16 miles) of new railway built in recent years, a figure due to increase with the opening of Borders Railway next week.

She said: "These latest figures show some very positive signs, particularly around the healthy increase in rail passenger numbers and the distances cycled over the last five years.

"We are not complacent, though, as we know there is work to be done to encourage people to use more sustainable and active travel modes.

"Beyond the £5 billion we will invest in Scotland's rail network and services from 2014 to 2019, we continue to spend around a quarter of a billion pounds each year supporting the bus network and supporting concessionary travel.

"The rise in distances cycled is encouraging and a clear indication the £40 million funding we have placed in cycling and walking projects across the country is money well spent, but we recognise we have work to do to get more people cycling to work.

"We are aiming to continue to tackle emissions and congestion by identifying ways to optimise capacity on key congested routes while also encouraging a greater number of journeys to work by public and active travel.''

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