The new report by the International Longevity Centre and Age UK shows that the transport system is clearly failing to meet the needs of too many older people – in particular the over 80s, those in poor health, those with low incomes and those living in rural areas.
Social engagement is now widely recognised and understood to be a key driver of good health and wellbeing. But many older people face an immediate practical barrier to their social engagement – actually getting around physically. Many struggle with public transport (or the lack of it), and driving a car poses a raft of different challenges.
Yet the technology available in modern motor cars can make them much easier to drive and have the potential to be real game-changers for older drivers. Think of satnavs, or the radar sensors which assist reversing and parking. And driverless cars are just over the horizon, and actually in prototype pilots in four UK locations. That’s why Age UK teamed up with the Mobility Roadshow to put together three discussions at this year’s show to look at the changing landscape. These discussions will run through the day at Donington Park on 26 June whilst the Roadshow is in full swing (25-27 June). One session will look at these new technologies.
If driving a car is not your thing, what do you feel about mobility scooters? Growing in popularity, this form of transport requires no insurance and no driver training. One of our sessions will look at some of the issues.
Then for some of us, there are the issues around actually stopping driving. Is paying for a few taxis actually more expensive than running a car, and how do the economics stack up? Could you go shopping online and have the goods delivered, instead of driving to the shops? Are there community transport or dial-a-ride schemes in the area?
As the population ages, so obviously there are more older people looking for transport options which work for them. Manufacturers know that too, which is why the Donington event will have a lot of exhibitors, and even some demonstration vehicles. All the information is on the Mobility Roadshow website, and the event (including the discussions) is absolutely free. So mark the date, and come along to see what the future is bringing to you, and just as importantly, tell us what you want the future to bring.