More traffic on Scotland's roads

New figures have revealed that Scotland's roads are now used by more cars and other vehicles than ever before, with traffic volumes also reaching record levels.

The figures for last year, published by the Scottish Government, show that the number of new vehicles registered in Scotland rose by 3% to 251,000 last year, the fourth highest number on record and almost three times the total in 1962.

The total number of vehicles on the roads was the highest ever recorded, having increased by 2% to 2.65 million. Meanwhile, traffic volumes rose by 1% to 44 billion vehicle kilometres, the highest on record, and 15% up on 10 years ago.

The statistics also show that the number of casualties from traffic accidents is falling, with a 10% drop in fatalities to 282, a 12% decrease in the number of people seriously injured to 2,598, and a 7% fall in the total number of road casualties, to 16,056.

Transport minister Stewart Stevenson said the "challenge" now is to persuade Scots to use their cars less.

"Public transport can offer a more cost effective option than the car, is better for the environment, and can be a lot less stressful, removing the frustration associated with the daily commute by car," he said.

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