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A campaign for free bus passes to be valid on all Community Transport services, and for the scheme to be adjusted so that participating is cost effective for voluntary sector transport providers (100% reimbursement).
Too many older people in Scotland lack access to suitable public transport, making their free bus pass all but useless.  The 'Still Waiting' campaign aims to ensure alternative Community Transport services are available to meet their needs. 
Older people living in areas where bus services are poor, and those who can't use mainstream buses due to disability or ill health, can be particularly vulnerable to loneliness and isolation.  A growing body of research evidence is identifying catastrophic health risks associated with loneliness, one study ranking it twice as damaging to older people as obesity.
Where available, Community Transport services can step in to ensure otherwise isolated older people can enjoy social opportunities and access services.  However a legacy of under-investment in Community Transport combined with a gradual reduction in commercial bus services means too few are able to benefit, with the problem likely to get worse as our population ages and needs increase.  Age Scotland calls for a long term strategy and funding to increase and sustain Community Transport services across Scotland.
Our "Still Waiting" campaign resulted in us handing a petition of 6,500 signatures to the Transport Minister, Keith Brown MSP. This led to an extra £1m being invested in community minibuses in 2013/2014, which will help prevent isolation in older people. Further research into the benefits of community transport has also been commissioned for 2014/2015. 

The role of transport in social isolation among older people.

Older people living in areas where bus services are poor, and those who can't use mainstream buses due to disability or ill health, can be particularly vulnerable to loneliness and isolation. Where available, Community Transport services can step in to ensure otherwise isolated older people can enjoy social opportunities and access services.  

However a legacy of under-investment in Community Transport combined with a gradual reduction in commercial bus services meant that too few were able to benefit.

Our 'Still Waiting' campaign

Age Scotland called for a long term strategy and funding to increase and sustain Community Transport services across Scotland.

'Still Waiting' was a campaign for free bus passes to be valid on all Community Transport services, and for the scheme to be adjusted so that participating is cost effective for voluntary sector transport providers (100% reimbursement).

What was the outcome?

Our "Still Waiting" campaign resulted in us handing a petition of 6,500 signatures to the Transport Minister, Keith Brown MSP. This led to an extra £1 million being invested in community minibuses in 2013/2014 and the commissioning of further research in 2014/2015 into the benefits of community transport.

For more information: To find out more about our campaigns, email PolicyComms@agescotland.org.uk or call 0333 32 32 400

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