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Council urged to rethink bus cuts for the elderly

20th February 2014

This news article is from Handicare UK. Articles that appear on this website are for information purposes only.

Seven councillors in Ryedale have urged Yorkshire County Council to rethink their decision to cut bus services in the area after fears that doing so would see local elderly people and those with mobility difficulties left isolated. While there is aid available to help with mobility difficulty in the home, it is feared that elderly residents could be left stranded should planned cuts to the bus services go ahead. 

Councillors have refused to readdress the £2 million cut from bus subsidies in the area following a decision made at an executive council meeting last month. The bus service in the Ryedale area has proved to be a lifeline for elderly residents whose mobility troubles leaves them reliant on electric stair lifts and other mobility aids within their homes. Without their regular bus services a councillor has said that he fears the “They will now just have to stay at home and say, ‘well that’s that’ and stare at the wallpaper”.

It is widely known that residents in the area benefit from the bus services as there were already concerns raised over the elderly being left vulnerable, unable to gain access to transport to attend necessary hospital appointments and medical engagements. Many of these residents are reliant on household aids such as riser recliner chairs suitable for the elderly, so such a cut to bus services could see them unable to leave their home whatsoever.

Housebound

While Chris Metcalfe, an executive member for public transport, stated at the meeting that the council was not by any means abolishing bus services completely and that elderly residents would be provided with transport help to get to hospital if necessary, there are still fears that this will not be enough to help save elderly residents from restricted mobility outside of their homes.

The bus cuts are due to affect 11 services across the Ryedale area and have left both residents and certain councillors in an increased state of anxiety for the months ahead.

Image Credit: Chris Robertshaw (flickr.com)