Commuting in Scotland: who is on the move and where to?

Trains are feeling the strain from commuters affected by forth closure. Picture: Jon Savage
Trains are feeling the strain from commuters affected by forth closure. Picture: Jon Savage
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Around 620,000 people commute out of their home areas every working day in Scotland, with the trials of rush hour travel being sharply felt by those affected by the closure of the Forth Road Bridge.

Figures show that 92,000 people travel into Edinburgh to work, with more than a third (35 per cent) of its workforce living outwith the city limits. Edinburgh’s total workplace population is around 260,300.

Driving is still the most common way to commute, with around 42 per cent of workers choosing to travel this way.

Further analysis of the 2011 census shows that just over 
27 per cent of commuters ­travel by bus and 7 per cent take the train.

The last census – which pre-dates the arrival of the Edinburgh tram system – shows that 15 per cent walk to work in the city and 1 per cent cycle (just 2,811 people).

The figures also show 24,560 people who live in Edinburgh leave the city to reach their workplace. A further 1,460 Edinburgh residents work somewhere else in the UK.

Aberdeen and Dundee have similar commuting rates, with around one-third of the workforce population arriving each day.

Glasgow, meanwhile, has the highest rate of commuter flow in Scotland. Around half of its working population of 323,000 comes into the city from other parts of the country each day.

Most Glasgow workers arrive at their jobs by car or van, with around 147,000 people choosing this way

Buses and trains each account for around 18 per cent of the workforce load.

Around 33,000 people who work in Glasgow get to work on foot, with another 2,940 people cycling to their employment.

In addition, just over 48,000 people travel out of Glasgow to another part of Scotland to work – the equivalent of 14 per cent of the workplace population. This is the highest rate of Scotland’s four main cities.

The census data also shows where the highest number of commuters live.

More people commute from South Lanarkshire – which connects to Glasgow by the M74 – than any other place in Scotland. More than 58,831 people make a journey outwith their home area to get to work.

North Lanarkshire has the second highest flow of commuters, with 58,751 travelling outwith their home area each working day.

In Aberdeenshire, 43,475 people commute to work, and in East Dunbartonshire, 30,201 commuters were recorded.

In Fife, the area worst affected by the Forth Road Bridge closure, almost 31,000 people commute from the area every day, according to the most recent census. This is the equivalent of just over a third of the area’s own workforce population.