I have discovered that any group of older people will sooner or later (and it’s usually sooner) start to discuss issues around access to transport.
For one of LOPF’s trustees this sparked a campaign to improve older people’s access to transport in Leeds. (Read David’s blog Waiting for the bus.)
Travel is not something many of us have had to consider much in the past 18 months. We were either not allowed out, or preferred not to go. But it is something we’ll be back to planning and supporting older people’s organisations with soon enough.
Although we didn’t commission a single transport project, Time to Shine has been considering transport throughout the programme.
Read our report Changing journeys: older people and transport
The idea of Active Travel is fashionable at the moment – walking or taking the bus to help reduce pressure on public transport and road use and increase your physical fitness. I don’t think we’ve funded any projects that encouraged more cycling but walking was where some of the Time to Shine delivery partners began, with both Walk with me and Walking with Confidence aiming to get people out and about again on foot. The Community Support Project hoped to be able to do this too. The Centre for Ageing Better commissioned Sustrans to write a report on the barriers to active travel .
Time to Shine’s work to reduce isolation and loneliness for older people meant that for the vast majority there was some sort of transport aspect. Members felt lonely and disempowered when they couldn’t get out to meet friends, join in activities or get to the shops under their own steam. Many of Time to Shine’s Small Funds partners used the grant as an opportunity to consider what an effective travel solution might be for their members and you can find some of these projects summarised in our report Changing journeys: older people and transport. The report also considers all the things non-transport focussed projects learned about just how the problems of ‘getting there’ and home again had an effect on their project delivery.
Learning Facilitator, Time to Shine