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Buses – a lifeline for older people

December 11th 2013

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Bus services are vitally important to older people, yet many commercial services do not respond to the needs of older people while public spending cuts mean that non-commercial services are under significant threat.

This report, prepared for Age Cymru, draws on the views and experiences of more than 300 people aged 60 and over, supplemented by findings from other research, to paint a vivid picture of the importance of bus services to older people’s well-being.

Key findings

  • Many older people rely completely on the bus for going about their daily lives.

  • There is a dearth of bus services in many communities and at certain times, which is likely to be exacerbated by cuts in support for subsidised services.

  • There are significant variations in the challenges faced in different parts of Wales – one size does not fit all.

  • Getting to and from hospital is a major problem for older people – the heaviest users of secondary care services even in urban areas.

  • Getting information about bus services, especially when several operators provide services on the same route, can be very difficult.

Challenges for government and operators

We also identify three distinct challenges for government and bus operators:

  • Improving the operation of services, mainly in urban areas.
  • Improving the provision of services where there are currently few, such as evening and Sunday services in much of Wales, and those at any time in rural areas.
  • Ensuring the mobility of older people when they are unable to use bus services e.g. because of location or disability.

The report concludes that action is urgently needed to address these challenges.  This must involve bus operators, local authorities and regional transport consortia, the Welsh Goverforums and Age Cymru itself.

Author: Victoria Winckler

Format: PDF

Price: free

Language: English and Welsh

Download Buses – a lifeline for older people

Download Bysiau – gwasanaeth allweddol i bobl hyn 

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