Call for Western Isles residents to sign petition to tackle older isolation

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Age Scotland is calling on Western Isles residents to sign a petition in support of its Still Waiting campaign to tackle isolation among older people who find it difficult or impossible to use mainstream bus services.

The petition calls on the Scottish Government to adjust the National Concessionary Travel (NCT) scheme to boost Community Transport; the local services that step in to prevent older isolation in circumstances where commercial bus companies say they can’t turn a profit.

Age Scotland campaigner Doug Anthoney said: “Being unable to use mainstream transport can make you isolated and lonely; a health risk comparable to life-long smoking.

“If successful, our campaign will benefit older people in Western Isles who can’t use mainstream bus services, by allowing them to travel free on Community Transport.”

He continued: “It will also help secure the future of local Community Transport providers such as Tagsa Uibhist and Third Sector Hebrides which are currently vulnerable in the economic downturn.

“And everyone stands to gain, as older people who are supported to maintain their independence and quality of life are less likely to need hospital or residential care, which is costly to the public purse.”

Members of the public can sign online at www.agescotland.org.uk/stillwaiting or can call 0845 833 9313 to request a petition pack.