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  • The Hands-Up Scotland Survey: data for 2015 now available

    New data on school travel in Scotland has been released by Sustrans and Transport Scotland. The annual Hands Up Scotland Survey collects data on mode of travel to schools and nurseries in Scotland. The 2015 data is now available. Scottish Transport Studies Group has kindly made the material available via this website. We are making this data available via the STSG as a means of encouraging researchers, practitioners and the public to explore and use the resource. As an Official Statistic the data is publically available for interrogation.

    The survey is funded by Transport Scotland to provide an accurate and up-to-date picture of how pupils travel to school. The survey is now in its eighth year. The 2015 data has school travel responses from 500,000 Scottish children.

    Sustrans’ particular interest, beyond the provision of a high quality data set, is in furthering understanding of active travel patterns in Scotland.

    Data collection
    Data collection for the Hands Up Scotland Survey occurs on an annual basis in the second week of September. The survey asks pupils ‘how do you normally travel to school’. In 2015, data collection took place between the 7th and 11th September. All 32 local authorities in Scotland are invited to take part in the Hands Up Scotland Survey. As with the Census, there is no quota-based sampling or selective participation mechanisms in the survey sampling design. As such, it is designed to acquire and record information about any and all pupils enrolled in nursery, primary, secondary, Special Educational Needs (SEN) and independent schools in Scotland. This approach is designed to produce a large national dataset which can be used to examine information on mode of travel to school in detail at a national, local authority and school level as well as by school type and year group.

    Summary of National results 2015
    – In 2015, a higher proportion of primary, secondary, SEN and independent pupils in Scotland normally travel to school actively compared to using either multi-mode or motorised transport. 49.7% of all school pupils (excluding nursery) use active travel modes compared to 42.0% who normally use motorised transport.
    – The most commonly reported mode of travel to school across all pupils in Scotland is walking at 43.3%. The second most common travel mode across all pupils in Scotland is being driven at 22.4%.
    – Across all pupils in Scotland, the percentage of pupils who normally cycle to school is at a high of 3.5%. This percentage was also reported in 2013.
    – The percentage of pupils who report that they normally scoot or skate to school in 2015 is the highest level ever reported across all years of the survey, at 2.9%.
    – Across all pupils in Scotland, the percentage of pupils who normally park and stride to school is at a high of 7.8%. This percentage was also reported in 2012 and 2014.

    Summary of National results 2008-2015
    – The reported level of active travel to school has decreased from 51.8% in 2008 to 49.7% in 2015. The change is non-linear – there has been fluctuation in the dataset.
    – The lowest percentage of active travel recorded in the Hands Up Scotland Survey was 49.3%, reported in 2010.
    – The reported level of motorised travel to school has increased from 41.6% in 2008 to 42.0% in 2015.
    – The highest percentage of motorised travel recorded in the Hands Up Scotland Survey was 43.0%, reported in 2009.
    – The reported level of multi-mode travel (park and stride) has increased from 6.1% in 2008 to 7.8% in 2015.
    – This peak value of park and stride travel was also reported in 2012 and 2014.

    A National Results Summary report for the Hands Up Scotland Survey 2015 and supplementary National Results tables in Excel including a breakdown of results at a local authority level and data collected from 2008-2015 are available from Sustrans’ website:
    http://www.sustrans.org.uk/scotland/what-we-do/schools-and-universities/hands-scotland Hands Up Scotland Survey: Statistical News Release 4 26th May 2016

    Please do let us know about any new analysis of this data set that you produce – we and Transport Scotland will be very interested to see what is generated.

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