Dear Andrew 

Disability and Transport: Findings from the Scottish Household Survey

We recently completed our compliance check of the statistics published in Disability and Transport: Findings from the Scottish Household Survey for Scotland 

The publication was released for the first time in July 2021 by Transport Scotland to help address a known gap in transport statistics. It is already considered a valuable resource by users who want to understand differences between how disabled and non-disabled people use and perceive public transport. We heard from users that they also value the publication as a first step towards developing time series data, so they can monitor changes in transport usage and perception overtime. To support this, we welcome the plans set out in Transport and Travel in Scotland 2020: Results from the Scottish Household Survey to incorporate these statistics into the Transport and Travel in Scotland publication in future. 

In evaluating the statistics against the Code of Practice for Statistics, we found a range of positive features that demonstrate trustworthiness, quality, and value:  

  • The statistical bulletin contains commentary which offers a clear and neutral explanation of the statistics to help users identify and interpret trends and patterns  
  • The publication provides the questions from the Scottish Household Survey which the statistics are based on, making the source very transparent to users  
  • The publication outlines some limitations of the Scottish Household Survey, allowing participants to understand the drawbacks of the data set  
  • The publication makes use of pre-existing data from the Scottish Household Survey, which your team has published following suggestions from users of transport statistics, demonstrating its relevance to users and your response and engagement with users 
  • The publication offers insights from a sample of people who are randomly selected, rather than being chosen based on their use of transport. This means the insights provided are valuable for understanding why some methods of transport might not be chosen  
  • The statistics are presented very clearly and there are suitable data visualisations to support users’ understanding of the data 

We also identified some ways in which the trustworthiness, quality and value could be enhanced:  

  • Including more information about what types of residences are included in the Scottish Household Survey sample would allow users to further understand its limitations. We recommend highlighting that it is sent to residential households only and excludes care homes where disabled people might also be resident 
  • One question on the Scottish Household Survey asks about users’ feelings of safety in the evening but this is reported as relating to the night. This could lead to misinterpretation of the data so we would recommend that this mistake be corrected, and the Quality Assurance process include a check for this type of inconsistency going forward 
  • Users have highlighted the following points of interest: barriers to access transport, whether respondents use mobility aids, and the impact of living in a rural or urban area on the accessibility of transport. We recommend that, in consultation with users, you consider whether other data sources or additional analyses could contribute towards statistics on disability and transport to provide further insights 

We would encourage you to consider these suggestions alongside the findings of our wider review into statistics related to transport accessibility, which we have also published today.  

Thank you to your team for its positive engagement during this review. We look forward to continuing to engage with you and the team. Please do get in touch if you would like to discuss any aspects of this letter further or if we can offer further assistance.  

I am copying this letter to Roger Halliday, Chief Statistician, Scottish Government.  

Yours sincerely

Mark Pont
Assessment Programme Lead