Resource guide for local authorities - transport solutions for older people

Research, including that by the charity Help the Aged, identifies a number of transport barriers that older people face when undertaking journeys both on foot and by public transport. These include physically inaccessibletransport vehicles, poor quality pavements, safety concerns, and inconsiderate and/or indifferent staff behaviour. Meeting the accessibility needs of older people is not considered only a transport issue. The introductionof free off-peak concessionary bus travel throughout England from 1 April2008 gave the opportunity for greater freedom and independence to around 11 million older and disabled people in England. Whilst research has shownthat awareness of concessionary fares is relatively high, awareness of other concessionary travel for older people, such as dial-a-ride services, Taxicard schemes and discount coach and train cards can be low. Accessibility Planning is a way of assessing more systematically whether people can easily get to destinations that are important to local residents. Solutionsmight include changes to the location, design and delivery of non-transport services, as well as tailoring of transport services themselves. One way of improving the availability of transport services is through pooling resources. Community transport can provide effective and efficient transport solutions of both a general and specialised nature, including services tailored to meet the needs of groups and individuals. A local authority can, for example, introduce a taxi sharing scheme where passengers can board a taxi from a designated rank and they each pay a fare to the driver. A taxi or private hire vehicle operator can marry-up two or more passengers who pre-book a cab and are travelling in the same direction; each passenger would pay his or her own fare for the journey. Rural proofing involves assessing how policies will work for rural people and places thereby ensuringpolicies are implemented fairly and effectively. Consideration of the endto end journey, therefore, is fundamental as any obstacle or barrier on that journey (e.g. uneven pavement, lack of seating and absence of toilets)can undermine an older person's willingness to travel. Improvements to facilities for walking and cycling are considered important. Some local authorities have introduced their own older driver assessment and training initiatives through their road safety officers, although the effectiveness ofthese has not been well demonstrated. It would be helpful if these schemes went on to support older people in moving on to alternatives when driving is no longer an option. Car sharing is an effective method of travellingfor older people, and may be particularly suitable in rural parts of the country where this form of transport can be safe and reliable. For the full text of this report see:


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  • Accession Number: 01148986
  • Record Type: Publication
  • Source Agency: Transport Research Laboratory
  • Files: ITRD
  • Created Date: Jan 25 2010 9:10AM