‘Lack of help could leave many alone’

Community transport groups are in need of more support to prevent elderly people being left isolated.

Yvonne Chappell, chief executive of Suffolk Community Transport, which represents groups including those in Sudbury and Hadleigh, said more should be done to help operators.

A national poll has found that one in four people aged over 60 said the lack of public transport was the biggest challenge faced by those living in the countryside.

“Many people would be left stranded at home, lonely and isolated if it was not for the wide-ranging transport services offered by voluntary community groups,” said Ms Chappell.

The poll was carried out by Age UK as part of a report about later life in rural England.

Ms Chappell said the amount of elderly people in the country was set to rise considerably and greater demand would be placed on transport groups.

“Community transport survives on limited budgets, supported largely by kind-hearted volunteers, facing a constant battle to survive,” she said. “The situation needs to change and society needs to do more to support these operators.”