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Scottish men over 55 don’t feel guilty about choosing their cars over bus

  • First Bus data reveals Scottish men are less environmentally conscious than women when it comes to transport
  • 35 - 44 year olds (70%) are the most frequent car users
  • Over 55 year olds (41%) don't feel guilty for choosing to use car over bus

Men in Scotland are almost twice as likely (12%) to use their car for journeys that they know they could take the bus for compared to their female counterparts (7%) and are less likely (41% men) to feel guilty about it (34% women).

But when it comes to choosing to travel by car over taking the bus, those aged over 55 are the least likely to feel bad about their choice, with four in 10 (41%) saying that it doesn’t make them feel guilty – nearly twice as many as those aged 18-24 (23%), which was the age group least likely to make this claim.

The data, which provides a snapshot view of Scotland’s travel behaviours, was commissioned by First Bus as it launches a campaign to encourage Scots to be a little more ‘CarFree’.

The research shows that those aged 18-24 are the most frequent bus users, with three in 10 (29%) using the bus more often than once a week, listing helping the environment (53%), the freedom of not having a car in the city (49%) and not having to pay for parking (59%) among their primary motivators for taking the bus.

 At the other end of the spectrum, 35-44 year olds were revealed as the least frequent bus users, with nearly two thirds (64%) travelling by bus less often than once every three months. This age group is also the most likely to use their car more often than once a week (70%).

Duncan Cameron, Managing Director of First Bus in Scotland said: ““As we launch our Modal Shift campaign to encourage Scots to leave their cars behind a little more, I’d encourage frequent car users to consider taking the bus instead for their next journey. From saving money to reducing stress and our impact on the environment, there are so many benefits to discover – not just for themselves, but for the city of Glasgow as a whole. If we each made small, conscious decisions to leave the car behind more often, together we could transform our city’s congestion, air and noise pollution.

“It’s fantastic to see that young people in Scotland are finding the benefits of travelling by bus, and we hope that the recently introduced Free Bus Travel Scheme for under 22s will continue to build upon this trend, and set lifelong good travel habits.”

The modal shift campaign supports First Bus Scotland’s efforts to provide environmentally conscious, cost-effective travel across Scotland. Through the campaign, First Bus is looking to encourage car users to tackle common pain points associated with car travel including pollution and excessive expenditure.

A TV ad featuring some recognisable Scottish faces discussing their guilty habits and biggest driving pet peeves in a ‘Car User Support Group’, launched this month to support the campaign.

More information can be found at firstbus.co.uk/carfree

Notes to editors

Notes to editors

About the Survey

*All figures, unless otherwise stated, are from YouGov Plc. Total sample size was 1002 adults. Fieldwork was undertaken between 14th - 18th April 2022.  The survey was carried out online. The figures have been weighted and are representative of All Scotland Adults (aged 18+).

About First Bus

First Bus is one of the UK’s largest bus operators. Making journeys easier for our customers, we were the first national bus operator to accept contactless card payments across all of our services and our First Bus App is voted ‘best in class’ amongst UK bus operators. Our most recent investments are in new, state-of-the-art buses across our key networks.

We work proactively with our local authority partners, making a positive impact on air quality, tackling congestion and improving customer experience. We are focused on First Bus becoming a leader in the transition to a low-carbon future and are committed to operating a zero-emission bus fleet by 2035; we have pledged not to purchase any new diesel buses after December 2022. We also operate the Aircoach network in Ireland.

First Bus is a division of FirstGroup.

First Bus is an equal opportunity employer

First Bus is an excellent place to work with opportunities for a rewarding career. 

We are committed to equality of opportunity, diversity and inclusion. We believe diverse experiences and attitudes help us better understand the needs of our customers.

We are working to increase the number of females applying for bus driver roles within the business as we do believe businesses are more likely to have continued success if our bus companies reflect the communities that they serve.

For more information on First Bus: news-scot.firstbus.co.uk