IMechE calls for transport subsidy review

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The government needs to review the current universal transport subsidy for older people, according to the Institution of Mechanical Engineers (IMechE).

The body’s statement asserts that the vulnerable few should be subsidised, but the majority of funds should be used to improve accessibility to the transport network.

It also recommends that government and transport providers divert some of the growing budget used for the universal transport subsidy to provide clearer signage and public announcements, install more escalators and moving pavements, provide more seating at stops and stations and adapting ticket machines to make them more user-friendly.

Dr Helen Meese, the Institution’s Head of Healthcare said: “The public transport subsidy for older people currently costs the taxpayer £927m every year. But while this system is aimed at encouraging older people to use public transport, much of the UK’s transport network remains inaccessible and difficult for elderly people to use.

“It is vital that funds are diverted to make the transport network more accessible, which will help older people stay active for longer.”