Buses and loneliness
Our chief executive was interviewed for a recent BBC Radio Four programme called Am I too old to drive?. Older people continue to drive for a multitude of reasons, but for many, especially in rural areas, one reason is the lack of alternatives. Far too many places have lost their buses, removing whole communities from the public transport network. Rural areas are often the worst affected; seen as too sparsely populated, or too widely spread out for public transport to work. Our recent report, The future of rural bus services in the UK, challenged this perception. Of course it’s not just older people who are affected by loneliness and isolation when there is no public transport, young people and those on low incomes, who can’t drive or can’t afford to run a car, also suffer in a society built around cars. The Government has a duty to provide the investment and infrastructure needed to ensure public transport plays a key role in helping end loneliness and isolation, not just for older people, but for everyone.