ECT Charity is troubled by the findings in a new report published by Transport for the North (TFN). The report says that people in the north of England are not getting the transport services they need to take part in opportunities and the communities around them.
The report cites research that 3.3 million people in the north of England face social exclusion due to poor transport. That’s a fifth of the region’s population. The report highlights the unreliability and high costs in the public transport system that make getting out and about difficult for everyone.
One participant in the study from County Durham said: “I was called out several times recently to rescue my 80-year-old mother from the bus stop when the service was cancelled without warning or offer of help.”
John Chesters, CEO at ECT Charity commented: “We are dismayed to read about the extent of social isolation caused by lack of public transport in the north of England. Our experience shows that access to transport is vital for communities and residents and helps fight isolation and loneliness.
“Our fleet of fully accessible minibuses and trained drivers help older people, those with mobility issues and those who can’t use mainstream public transport to get out and be part of their community. We know that public bus services are being cut and that many people, especially older people will be worse off because of this. But we can help, our community transport services make a significant difference to people’s lives by helping them get to the shops, their GP appointments, and visit friends and family.”
Public transport services across the country are under strain. For many people who can’t use mainstream transport or have difficulty, alternative community transport support is available. In the North, ECT Charity runs its door-to-door PlusBus service which enables those less able to travel to get to the shops or to meet friends. It also provides door-to-door transport to Day Centres in the area. To find out more, please see what services we offer in Cheshire here, or call the team on 0151 357 4420 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
You can read the full report from Transport for the North here