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Statement from the APG on Ageing and Older People on funding for Community Transport Programmes

Published on 03 April 2023 09:04 AM

3 April 2023

The Assembly All Party Group (APG) on Ageing and Older People is deeply concerned about the risk to future delivery of the community transport service [see note 1 in Notes to Editor]. At its meeting on 29 March 2023, members recognised the importance of community transport to older people and others, particularly those who have mobility difficulties, or live in rural or isolated locations with limited or infrequent public transport. [see note 2].

APG Chair, Claire Sugden MLA, said:

Community transport is a lifeline for many older people, enabling them to remain active, be part of, and contribute to, their local community, and access the services they need to stay well and remain as independent as possible.

Most of us take regular activities like attending GP or hospital appointments, going shopping, seeing our family and friends for granted. But for many older people these would be impossible without the support of  local community transport services.

The current budget uncertainty is deeply worrying. While we welcome the recent decision to extend funding until the end of June 2023, a longer term funding solution is needed.

Colm Gildernew MLA and Vice Chair of the APG on Ageing and Older People said: 

Community transport services, such as Dial-A-Lift, are particularly important post-COVID, encouraging older people to maintain the return to independent life after the pandemic.

Community transport provides a lifeline for many older people who do not drive, who live rurally or have no local bus service available to them.

Community transport programmes play a crucial cross-cutting role, supporting delivery of the Government’s health and wellbeing outcomes. They are an effective, affordable way to get people living with frailty, disability or mobility issues to appointments with GPs, consultants etc., who otherwise would not be able to make these journey.

Chair, Claire Sugden MLA concluded: 

The APG on Ageing and Older People is calling on the Department for Infrastructure to keep these vital services running and commit to continuing funding beyond June 2023.

Signed on behalf of the APG on Ageing and Older People by:

Claire Sugden MLA - Chair, APG on Ageing and Older People

Colm Gildernew MLA – Vice Chair, APG on Ageing and Older People 

Notes to Editors

1. For more information on the APG on Ageing and Older People, see link:

2. Dial-A-Lift Service is supported by the Community Transport Association. It is delivered by eleven separate organisations through the Rural Community Transport Partnership:


Last updated: Sep 12 2023

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