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This project from ILC-UK and Age UK sets out the key transport challenges that are arising from the UK’s ageing population.

Using analysis from the English Longitudinal Study of Ageing (ELSA), as well as evidence from transport experts at a stakeholder’s workshop, this report argues that the current transport system is failing to meet the needs of too many older people.

  • Despite free bus travel, one third of over 65s in England never use public transport. And over half either never use public transport or use it less than once a month.
  • 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.
  • 1.45 million over 65s find it quite difficult or very difficult to travel to a hospital, whilst 630,000 over 65s find it difficult or very difficult to travel to their GP.

Furthermore the report shows that it is the oldest old, those who are in poor health and those living in rural areas who are let down the most by the current public transport system:

  • Among the over 80s less than 55% report finding it easy to travel to a hospital, a supermarket or a post office.
  • Among the over 65s who report that it is ‘Very Difficult’ for them to travel to see their GP, less than 30% are in good health.
  • Just 20% of those aged 70-74 living in rural areas use public transport weekly, compared to 38% of those who live in an urban setting.

The report argues that with the start of the new Parliament it is time to embrace the opportunities for improvement. In particular, devolution of central Government powers to local communities could mean more flexible transport services which better reflect the needs of older people, while advances in technology, including driverless cars, could further expand older people’s transport options.

Download a PDF of the report below.

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