Author: Age Cymru
Published on 01 March 2012 12:00 PM
Commenting on reports that Anglesey Council is to axe 34 bus services because of cuts to its Welsh Government public transport grant, Age Cymru’s Head of Policy and Public Affairs Graeme Francis says:
“Our main concern at hearing this announcement is that other local authorities across Wales who are also coming to terms with cuts to their public transport budget will also phase out some of their bus services.
“Public transport services play a vital role in helping many older people to maintain their independence and wellbeing as well as access services, facilities and amenities, especially in isolated or rural communities.
“Social isolation is a proven factor that contributes to the risk of mental health problems.
“Budget cuts are an inevitable and unfortunate symptom of the ongoing financial situation and Age Cymru is keen to ensure that older people are not disproportionately affected by changes to services.
“We would urge that a holistic approach is adopted when deciding where services are to be cut, so that factors such as numbers of passenger journeys undertaken on a particular route are not the only ones taken into consideration when decisions are made.
"Consideration must also be given to whether or not alternatives are available to help people access essential services.”