Response 488302036

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Introduction

Are you responding as an individual or an organisation?

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(Required)
Individual
Ticked Organisation

What is your name or your organisation's name?

Name/orgname (Required)
Transport Scotland

The Scottish Government generally seeks to publish responses to a consultation, in summary and where possible in detail. We would like your permission to publish:

Please select one item
(Required)
Ticked Your response along with your full name
Your response only (anonymous)
Please do not publish my response at all

Section A - A Use of SHS

1.. What are the main social survey topics that you use in the SHS? Please tick all that apply. Please distinguish between the topics in your following answers.

Please select all that apply
Household composition & characteristics of all occupants
Ticked Employment status of the highest income householder
Ticked Household income from employment and other sources
Health /disability
Ticked Transport – cars, fuel spend, and bicycles
Ticked Accommodation - type of property, tenure, housing aspirations
SHCS social survey - use of heating, repairs, adaptations
SHCS social survey - energy efficiency and renewables
Ticked Internet access
Recycling
Ticked Savings and household finances, including housing costs (mortgage and rent)
Ticked Children in the household (childcare, schools, and travel)
Other - please indicate
Please select all that apply
Ticked Key adult characteristics
Health/disability and caring responsibilities
Ticked Accommodation/housing experiences
Neighbourhoods and community safety (including perception of local crime rate and local police performance, harassment and discrimination)
Education - qualifications
Ticked Employment/economic activity
Ticked Transport – Travel Diary
Ticked Transport – use of private/public transport, congestion
Perceptions of local government and services
Participation in sports activities
Participation in cultural activities
Environment – access to the outdoors, green space, land use
Environment – climate change
Ticked Internet access and use
Volunteering
Other - please indicate

2. . What do you use the SHS for? We are particularly interested in how analysis of SHS data is used for informing, monitoring and evaluating policy and practice decisions, including examples of where analysis has influenced decision making. Please be as specific as possible in your answers.

Please explain
The SHS is an essential component of the various transport and land-use models developed for Scotland at both a national and a regional level. These models are very data intensive, particularly with regard to cross-tabulated variables [which make administration datasets of very limited use]. The SHS is now the only source of this data since Scotland withdrew from the National Travel Survey undertaken by the Department for Transport. The nature of calibration of the models also requires geographical segmentation across the whole of Scotland which also makes the sample size a very important component. The models are used to support the development of government transport policy and to provide a substantial part of the evidence base for infrastructure investment. The models (and their predecessors) are also used to justify major transport infrastructure schemes. Historical examples include the M74 Completion, M80 Stepps to Haggs, Airdrie to Bathgate Railway, A68 Dalkeith Bypass, new Queensferry Crossing, Borders Rail, Edinburgh to Glasgow Improvement Project (EGIP), M8 Ballieston to Newhouse, Aberdeen Western Peripheral Route (AWPR). Our future work programme includes the A9 Perth to Inverness Dualling, A96 Aberdeen to Inverness Dualling, a number of other major Rail improvement projects and whatever the next steps will be on the business case for High Speed Rail in Scotland. The models are also now in the process of informing the necessary infrastructure that will be associated with the Strategic and Local Development Plans around the country and the various City Deals.

3.. Are there any alternative evidence sources available for the topics and/or questions you use in the SHS?

Please select one item
Ticked Yes
No
Please list alternative evidence sources for each topic
Whilst I put Yes, the alternative only covers a small part of what the SHS delivers AND we already use that data anyway. Some of the data can be taken from Census, but this is obviously only decadal and does not include important variables like income. The Travel Diary is a particularly important aspect of the SHS and the Census only provides information on one type of journey (travel to work) which only covers about 20% of all travel.

Section B - Views on options for 2017

4.. What would be the impact of SHS option A for your organisation’s use of the SHS? Please distinguish between the different topics you use when answering.

Please explain
It's all down to Sample Size of the Travel Diary. We already have to pool 2 or ideally 3 years of data to get sufficient sample size. This option moves from a current sample of 19,600 biennially to 9,300 biennially. This would mean pooling 6 years of SHS data to maintain current sample sizes. To assume that behaviour remains constant (enough) over this period is pushing right to the limits of credulity.

5.. What would be the impact of SHS option B for your organisation’s use of the SHS? Please distinguish between the different topics you use when answering.

Please explain
It's all down to Sample Size of the Travel Diary. We already have to pool 2 or ideally 3 years of data to get sufficient sample size. This option moves from a current sample of 19,600 biennially to 13,700 biennially. This would mean pooling 4 years of SHS data to maintain current sample sizes. Not ideal, but ...

6.. Do you prefer option A or option B?

Please select one item
Option A
Ticked Option B
What is the reason for your option preference?
Option B provides a much better overall sample size given we have to pool more than one year of data anyway.

7.. Under option A (biennial) half of the topics would be asked in 2017 (odd year) and half in 2018 (even year) (assuming this is the model adopted for 2018-2021). Do you have any views on what topics should be asked in 2017 and 2018?

Please explain
No

8.. Under option B (reduction in sample size), a small reduction in full sample topic coverage of around 4 minutes (around 7% of questions) is necessary to maintain current ‘one third sample questions’ at around their present sample size. How should this be achieved?

Please select one item
i. By cutting topics completely
Ticked ii. By reducing breadth of larger topics
iii. By introducing more biennial topics and questions
iv. By introducing more one third sample questions

9.. In order to contribute to the 4 minute reduction, which of the topics which you use do you think could be:

Please be specific as possible in your answers.
Reduce focus on 'perception of' questions. These are time-consuming to answer.

10.. Under option B (cut in sample size), would you prefer local authority data to be published on a:

Please select one item
Ticked Two year rolling average basis every year
Two year basis every two years (i.e. 2017 and 2018 data would be published in 2019, 2019 and 2020 data would be published in 2021)
What is the reason for your preference?
It's easier to deal with in spreadsheet analysis.

Section C - Looking Ahead

11.. Looking ahead to 2018-2021 , the Scottish Government may need to make further reductions to the SHS. If this is necessary, would you prefer any further changes to the SHS to be based on:

Please select one item
i. A reduction in the overall SHS sample size
ii. A reduction in the frequency of SHS data collection
iii. A reduction in SHS topic coverage
Ticked iv. Other – please state
If other, please specify
Cross fund from other sectors
Please explain why.
Look back at the history of the SHS? - I'm guessing that different parts of government were undertaking their own surveys and someone realised that by combining them it would save money. If the SHS keeps getting cut and cut, eventually various sectors will have to start supplementing the (lack of) data by getting their own data collected until someone has the bright idea that if all the different parts of government are undertaking their own surveys, then we could reduce the cost to government overall by combining them.

12.. What would be the impact on the work of your organisation if there were to be a further:

Please be specific as possible in your answers.
Subject to budget, we might have to start undertaking supplementary surveys to in-fill the gaps.

Section D - Any other comments and information about your organisation

14.. What sector do you work in?

Please select one item
Ticked Central government
Local government
Parliament
NHS
Other public sector (e.g. NDPB)
Higher/further education (excluding students)
Third sector (Voluntary and charity)
Private sector
Student
Journalists / media
Other (please specify)

15.. What is the main topic area(s) that your organisation as a whole focuses on?

Please select all that apply
Health
Housing
Environment
Ticked Transport
Income and wealth
Communities
Sport
Culture
Young People
Equalities
Other – please state