Bus and Coach Statistics: 2010-11

Publication Date: 
Publication Summary: 
Bus and coach data that provides an understanding of travel trends and behaviours.

01-03-2012: Errors found in Table 24 (Concessionary fare passes issued) – now corrected.
09-03-2012: Errors found in Tables 15 and 16 (passenger journeys and Vehicle Kilometres by region) – now corrected.

For more information on these errors please read the Regional revision to Bus and Coach Statistics 2010-11 (pdf, 10KB) 

A National Statistics Publication for Scotland

This document is also available as a pdf: Bus and Coach Statistics: 2010-11 (406KB) 

Transport Scotland’s Statisticians published Bus and Coach Statistics, 2010-11 in the form of a webtables update.

The purpose of the publication is to bring together a range of bus and coach data to provide a more comprehensive and complete understanding of travel trends and behaviours across these modes. Comparisons are made with GB where possible.
Data presented includes Department for Transport (DfT) Scottish bus operator data, Transport Scotland concessionary bus fare data and further analysis of bus-related information collected by the Scottish Household Survey (SHS). All data is secondary release of these statistics i.e. data from these sources has been released through previous publications.

Passenger journeys and Vehicle Kilometres

  • Passenger journeys per head of population were greater in GB than Scotland for the fist time in the last ten years. [Table 2]
  • Vehicle Kilmometres fell in the last year with the exception of GB (outwith London) subsidised  services which experienced a 1 per cent increase. [Table 4]
  • All Scottish operators except those in the South East region experienced a decline in both passenger journeys and Vehicle Kilometres. [Tables 15-16]
  • The greatest decline for both passenger journeys and Vehicle Kilometres was experienced by services in the South West and Strathclyde region. [Tables 15-16]


  • Scotland experienced a 1 per cent decline in passenger revenue from the previous year whereas at GB level, there was a 1 per cent increase. [Table 8]
  • Total Government support on local buses services in Scotland was £295 million in 2010-11 – 8 per cent less than 2009-10 which is in line with the decline in GB spending. [Table 9]
  • Operating costs per vehicle kilometre are consistently higher in GB (outwith London) than Scotland (163 pence/vkm vs 152 pence/vkm in 2010-11).  However, over the 5 year period these have increased by 25 per cent in Scotland but only 12 per cent in GB (outwith London). [Table 10]
  • Operating costs per passenger journey in Scotland exceeded those for GB (outwith London) for a second consecutive year.  The increase over the 5 year period is considerably greater in Scotland than GB (23 per cent vs 6 per cent). [Table 11]

Bus fleet characteristics

  • The percentage of buses in Scotland fitted with CCTV has more than doubled between 2005-06 and 2010-11 (28 per cent to 58 per cent) although this is still lower than the 2010-11 GB figure of 69 per cent. [Table 12]
  • Similarly, 54 per cent of buses were fitted with Automatic Vehicle Location devices in 2010-11 – up from 25 per cent in 2006-07 but still less than the 63 per cent across GB. [Table 12]
  • Seventy-seven per cent of buses in Scotland in 2010-11 had live Smart-card readers compared to 33 per cent in GB (outwith London). [Table 12]
  • Over 80 per cent of buses in Scotland in 2010-11 were accessible or had a low floor – an increase of 57 per cent over the 5 year period. [Table 13]

Personal bus use

  • The majority of bus journeys were carried out for the purposes of commuting (28 per cent) and shopping (28 per cent) in 2010. [Table 19]
  • Bus travel was most common amongst 20-29 year olds at peak travel times and in the evening. In contrast, those who are permanently retired were most likely to use the bus out-with these times (i.e. 9.30am and before 4.30pm). [Table 20]
  • The most popular reasons given for commuters not using the bus to travel to work were ‘takes too long’ (36 per cent) and ‘no direct route’ (33 per cent). [Table 21]
  • For general bus use, one fifth of respondents stated that there was ‘no need’; the second most common response was ‘takes too long’ (17 per cent). [Table 22]

Concessionary travel

  • Around one-third (34 per cent) of bus journeys in 2010 were undertaken by those who hold a concessionary travel pass. [Table 19]
  • There were a total of 1.2 million concessionary passes issued as at January 2012. Just over one million of which were issued to those aged 60 and over. [Table 24]

Other bus and coach statistics

This publication does not contain the full scope of bus and coach data collected by Transport Scotland. It aims to provide more in-depth analysis of bus and coach data released via earlier publications as well as drawing comparison with GB. Alternatively, Bus and Coach statistics can be found in the following publications:

Scottish Transport Statistics – a compendia publication covering all aspects of travel and transport statistics.  Chapter 2 of the 2011 edition is dedicated to Bus and Coach Travel. The publication is updated annually, usually in December.

Transport and Travel in Scotland – a ‘mini’ compendia publication highlighting initial main transport trends and presenting the first release of Scottish Household Survey transport data. The publication is updated annually, around late Summer/early Autumn.

Department for Transport – for further information on bus and coach data collected on at GB level or behalf of Scotland by the DfT visit the Buses section of their website here: http://www.dft.gov.uk/statistics/series/buses/