Glasgow trends

Trends in modes of travel to work or study in Glasgow, 2001-2011

Modal Shares commutes to work study Glasgow 2001 2011

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Commuting trends in Glasgow between 2001 and 2011 changed in a number of ways: 

  • Train use increased in Glasgow from 5.5% to 7.7% of commutes, a rise which occurred in all Scottish council areas with a train line.   
  • Underground use reduced slightly in the city.
  • Bus use reduced from a modal share of 23.5% to 20.3%. Across Scotland there was a reduction in bus use in 28 local authorities but also an increase in four local autorities (Edinburgh, Midlothian, Perth & Kinross and Stirling).
  • The proportion of commuters using a car (either as a driver or passenger) increased to 40.9%. Car driving increased in every local authority, except Edinburgh, while the proportion of people who were car passengers reduced in all authorities.
  • Walking to work or study decreased in Glasgow from 26.8% of commuters to 25.1% and reduced in the majority of local authorities, although the proportion of commuters who walked did rise in three local authorities (Aberdeen, Dundee and Edinburgh).
  • Cyclist commuters increased from 1% to 1.6% in Glasgow.  There was an overall increase in the percentage of cyclist commuters in Scotland from 1.3% to 1.5% and an increase in the proportion cycle commuters in 19 local authorities.
  • The proportion of ‘active travel’ commuters in Scotland - those walking or cycling - increased in only four local authorities (Aberdeen, Dundee, Edinburgh and East Renfrewshire).


The data are sourced from the 2001 and 2011 Censuses and exclude people who usually work or study at home.  

The census question is thought to underestimate levels of walking, as the question asks for the main mode of travel used on a commuting journey and multi-modal journeys which include walking but not as the main mode of travel are not accounted for.

A recent GCPH report, Pedestrian and cyclist casualty trends in Scotland, as well as providing a detailed analysis of casualty trends, outlines trends in modes of travel to work and study in Scotland (see Chapter 4 and Appendix A). 

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