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Large proportion of older people do not use public transport

29th June 2015

A report has revealed that more than a half of older people use public transport less than once a month, or not at all. This may come as a surprise as over 65s are eligible for free bus travel, but it would appear that many older people are faced with travel problems.

Age UK has stated that current transport systems are not meeting the needs of the ageing population, who rely on chair and stair lifts, particularly for those in rural areas.

The findings come from a report entitled “The Future of Transport in an Ageing Society”, which was compiled by think tank The International Longevity Centre - UK (ILC-UK) and charity Age UK.

One third of over-65s in England never use public transport

The report found a number of interesting statistics, as shown below, and suggests that more needs to be done in order to make sure that this valuable service is being used to its full potential and helping the right individuals.

Findings, as noted by the BBC in this article, include:

  • One third of over-65s in England never use public transport.
  • Approximately 35,000 people aged 65-84 in England have difficulty walking even a short distance, but are restricted to using public transport, making any journey difficult. More than half do not use public transport.
  • 20% of those aged 70-74 living in rural areas use public transport weekly, compared with 38% of those who live in an urban setting.

One particularly interested finding was that Age UK found health problems to be a more likely reason for people to give up driving than age alone as only one percent of people aged 60 and over, questioned in their survey, said that they would stop driving because of their age, whilst 43 percent stated that it would be down to health concerns.

The findings come as a concern as we face an ageing population who, without the assistance of mobility aids such as walk in baths and shower trays, might struggle to get around at all. The report’s authors hope that the findings will encourage something to be done about the state of the public transport system and that it will see changes made to better cater for older users.

Image Credit: Simon_sees (

This content was written by Emily Bray. Please feel free to visit my Google + profile to read more stories.

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