Thursday, October 22, 2015

Best way to spend money on older bus travellers maybe not to make the fare free

The UK's Institution of Mechanical Engineers - not renown for its ventures into ageing - has made a statement about the way money is spent on older bus transport users. I think they talk a lot of sense.

I quote:

"About half of older travellers have no private form of transport available and depend on public transport for daily necessities like shopping or visiting the GP. By 2021, 20 per cent of the urban population in the UK will be over 65. As the number of older people rises, not only will the transport subsidy become increasingly unsustainable, there will be greater demand for the transport network to cater for this growing user group."
“..government and public transport providers to improve existing services and to introduce new technologies and designs that specifically cater for older people...."

Now where I diverge from this argument is that the all design of transport systems should be taking into account the physiological state of their customers. This is not a 'nice to have' it is a basic requirement.

Rather than seeing this as an add-on that should be paid for by cutting another part of government expenditure it should be something that is integral to the design of all services.

Unfortunately, this is leap of imagination that a lot of people have yet to make.  Dick Stroud

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