Data sources and methodology
It is important to understand the background and methodology to the statistics so that they are used correctly.
You can also browse our Publications and datasets section for specific information, or use the High level summaries for an overview of key statistics by theme and details of where to find further data.
If you are looking for a compendium of transport and travel related statistics then you may find Scottish Transport Statistics useful.
Geographical breakdowns are available for most statistics.
This information is being added by theme to the High level summaries section.
Scottish Household Survey data
Information on personal travel and travel attitudes and behaviours is collected as part of the Scottish Household Survey (SHS).
- Background information for the SHS (PDF)
- Information on the background of the Travel Diary (PDF) and a more in-depth User Guide (PDF)
- Transport and travel content of the SHS for 2012 survey onwards (Excel)
- Two papers comparing Travel Diary distance calculation with GIS data:
- 2009 Travel diary: comparisons with GIS distances (PDF)
- 2012 Travel Diary: comparisons with new road network variable (PDF)
- More information available from the SHS Web site
Department for Transport data
The Department for Transport (DfT) collect GB and Scotland level information for some transport topics which is reported in some of the Transport Scotland publications.
Road accident/Casualty data
Injury road accidents reported to the police are recorded on a ‘Stats 19’ form. This data is then submitted to Transport Scotland by the police forces.
- Stats 19 illustrative forms: show the information collected. Reported Road Casualties Scotland includes copies, and outlines what might also be collected for local use.
- Stats 20 instructions for the completion of the returns: detailed notes of guidance on the accidents to be reported and on points on individual fields.
- Stats 21 procedures for submitting road accident data: details of record layouts and validity checks etc. Further details are available below on the Stats 19 form.
Variables and values (2013 onwards)
The following documents have been revised to take account of changes resulting from the GB Standing Committee’s 2008 data quality review.
- “Stats 20” (2011)
- “Stats 21” (2011) draft version
- "Stats 19" (2013) - for completion by Police
- SCRAS 2008 Data quality review summary document
Variables and values (2005 onwards)
Final details of the variables and their codes are given in:
- "Stats 20" (2005) - produced in October 2004. Includes an example of the English/Welsh form
- "Stats 20" (2005) - without the English/Welsh form
The documents below were produced in December 2003 - although there have been minor changes to the descriptions/labels of a few variables/codes there have been no changes to the variables or the valid codes.
- Introduction to the specification for 2005 (3 pages)
- List of changes to be made from January 2005 (14 pages)
- Full list of "Stats 19" variables and values (2005) (15 pages)
- "Stats 19" (2005) - for completion by Police (4 pages)
- "Stats 19" (2005) - self-reported accidents (3 pages)
- "Stats 21" (2005) ( 21 pages) NB: The following changes have been made since this was produced:
Variable 2.9 Vehicle location at time of accident...
the check "IF 1.12 ( 1st Road Class) = 1 or 2.." should be:
IF 1.12 ( 1st Road Class) = 1 or 2 THEN 2.9 = 00, 02, 05, 06, 07 or 08
because code 02 (bus lane) is valid (as there is one on part of the M4)
Variable 3.10 Pedestrian Location
the check "IF 3.10 = 01-04..." should be:
IF 3.10 = 01-04 THEN 1.20a (Pedestrian Crossing - Human Control) = 1 or 2 OR 1.20b (Pedestrian Crossing - Physical Facilities) = 1, 4, 5, 7, 8 or 9
because 1.20b code 7 "Footbridge or subway" is valid (it is a type of pedestrian crossing facility, which variable 3.10 codes 01-04 indicate is present).
Variable 2.22 Age of Driver
under the "Comments" heading, the check "If driver age unknown...." should be:
If Driver Age is unknown 2.22 MUST = BLANK (not 00 or 99)
BLANK acceptable if 2.24 (Hit and Run) = 1 or 2 or 2.7 (Manoeuvres) = 2
Historical Documentation (1999 to 2004)
Data quality review
It has been known for some time that there have been issues with some of the STATS 19 accident data that are collected by the police, due to the design of the form and information available to officers at the scene of an accident. Where possible these issues are rectified at each quinquennial review. The following document lists the current STATS 19 variables, issues with quality, their usage and possible solutions.
Safety Camera Data
- Road traffic accident and causality data collected by Police Scotland via the Stats 19 form is further validated by partners in each safety camera partnership and then submitted to the Scottish Safety Camera Programme Office.
- Speed data is collected either via fixed speed loops located in the road surface or by means of mobile speed monitoring equipment.
- Offender data is recorded on the safety camera partnership back office system. Aggregated figures are then submitted to the Scottish Safety Camera Programme Office via audited forms.