Age UK's response to CPRE's Transport Deserts report
By: Age UK
Published on 12 February 2020 04:00 PM
Caroline Abrahams, Charity Director at Age UK, said: “The ongoing decline in rural buses services is continuing to have a terrible impact on the lives of many older people who become cut-off and isolated, which can severely impact on their health and well-being. As the CPRE report suggests, the Government’s National Bus Strategy is an excellent opportunity to turn things around by funding responsive, accessible, clean, and coordinated local bus services. This approach requires increased powers and funding for local authorities who are currently overseeing cuts and reductions in bus routes due to the decline in subsidies from central Government over the last ten years. Rejuvenating local buses services and transport options for older people should be considered a core component to deliver the Government loneliness strategy.
"Given this, it's good news that the Government has allocated an extra £5bn over five years to make these changes possible. It will hopefully allow a reversal to the cuts and reductions made to existing bus services by giving local authorities more control over transport spending and delivery. Local authority planning on buses must involve older people, especially those in more remote rural places that currently only get very limited irregular services. A more coordinated and flexible approach, using new technology, could make it much easier for older people to stay active and get to vital services quickly and easily.”