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Poor Transport Often Biggest Problem for Older People

Posted April 24th 2019 by Outside The Box

In autumn 2018, the Scottish Government started working on a framework to support policies across their responsibilities that affect older people. They asked voluntary organisations that represented older people or were in touch with older people across the country to bring together the experiences and views of older people as part of developing the framework.

We were asked by the Scottish Government to bring bring together the experiences and views of older people as part of developing A Fairer Scotland for Older People: framework for action. We spoke to older people right across Scotland, including people in rural areas, people who have higher needs, people in care homes and relatives and friends and want to share what we heard.

We will also be posting each section in a series of blogs. And we would love to hear your thoughts. Please post comments below. You can also download our full report here or read it online here.

Transport and getting around

Many people said that poor transport was the biggest problem for them, and that it affected almost every aspect of their lives.

People talked about the range of types of transport and made the links between public and community transport, and the way transport operators work.

Between them people knew of a wide range of ways people got help with transport from friends and neighbours, community transport, transport provided by businesses for customers, commercial services in rural and outlying areas and public transport services. People thought it would be good if there was more encouragement for this diversity of responses, and ways for people to share information to create more options and choices.

“Everything hinges on transport. You sort out transport and lots of other things will work better.”  

“We need policies and processes that encourage the development of innovative solutions to community transport – ways to involve volunteers, ways that don’t rely on volunteers, different types of vehicles, different types of journeys, and ways to find and book a ride.”

“Taking away town centre car parks is a big problem in our rural area with a high percentage of the older population relying on their car to access shops and services. It will mean they find it more difficult to access shops and services.”

“We need car parks that allow people to fully open their car doors in a safe environment, having time to exit the car in safety. It isn’t just people who have a blue badge that are relying in cars to get about.”

“No buses come into the village so if you can’t walk to the main road – on a road with no street lights – you need to use taxis which is really expensive”.

“There are not enough spaces for wheelchair users on the buses. If someone who uses a wheelchair is already on the bus then you can’t get on and have a 2 hour wait for the next bus where you hope that no other wheelchair user has got on that bus!”

Ways policies and actions by the Scottish Government can make a difference:

  • Involve older people in discussions about all aspects of transport policy.
  • Find more ways to for people to share information on what is happening, to create more solutions that reflect local circumstances.


Find out more about our work with older people in rural communities from our Rural Wisdom website.


  • Posted by The Importance of Integration and inclusion this Older People's Day - Outside The Box on October 1st 2019
    […] can download our full report here. We’ve previously posted exert blogs on Facing Stigma  and Poor Transport. This exert tackles an important […]
  • Posted by Andy on May 9th 2019
    The link (file:///Users/rhiannondavies/Downloads/OTB%20Contributions%20to%20%20OP%20Framework_compressed.pdf) to the downloadable version of the report is a local one that only works within the network/intranet/computer that it was set up on (note the "file:///Users/…" at the start of the link). The correct link ( is on the linked webpage.

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