Commenting on UCL research which found that free bus passes are linked to improved happiness and wellbeing in older people, George McNamara, Director of Policy and Influencing at Independent Age, said:

“Subsidised access to public transport provides a vital lifeline to independence for many older people, and it’s good to see confirmation on this from UCL. Given the significant health benefits, as well as reducing the risk of social isolation and loneliness, it is essential that not only is the free bus pass maintained, but also access and frequency to bus services and routes, particularly in rural areas. It is concerning to see that as a result of spending cuts those bus routes deemed ‘unprofitable’ have stopped denying many older people access to their community. This is further evidence that the government needs to ensure older people are able to keep benefits such as the free bus pass, TV licence and the Winter Fuel Payment, which help improve their wellbeing.”

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