Older people failed by public transport
- 22 Jun
A report has found that 1.45m of the UK’s older population struggle when using public transport to get to hospitals and other places of need.
A report by the International Longevity Centre thinktank and charity Age UK has found that many people aged over 65 felt that public transport “not convenient and does not go where you want”, reports the Guardian.
It revealed that 1.45 million over-65s in England struggled to get to a hospital, while 630,000 had difficulty getting to their GP’s surgery.
Caroline Abrahams, charity director at Age UK, said the report should be “a wake-up call” to the government because it showed the transport system was not meeting the needs of the growing ageing population. She added: “It is crucial that older people are able to get out and about, especially as the evidence shows this helps them retain their health and independence for longer. Against this context it is worrying that so many older people are struggling to reach hospital, or sometimes even their local GP. The bus pass is an absolute lifeline for many who would otherwise be stranded at home and is utterly essential, but the truth is it’s not enough on its own to enable older people to stay mobile. For example, better transport planning and more imaginative use of volunteers could make a big difference today; and in the medium term driverless cars and other technological innovations could be real game changers.”
ILC-UK’s Helen Creighton said: “Travel is essential for independent living and has been shown to benefit physical health and mental wellbeing in later life. Furthermore there is evidence that maintaining older people’s mobility has substantial economic benefits, with analysis by ILC-UK estimating that concessionary fares will provide a net benefit to the wider community of 19.4 billion in the years up to 2037. This report, which highlights the travel difficulties facing older people, emphasises the need to adapt our transport system to meet the demands of our ageing society.”
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