Free public transport for the elderly
Tuesday, 15 July 2014
SOUTH Down MP Margaret Ritchie has stressed the importance of the Northern Ireland Executive retaining free public transport for the elderly in Northern Ireland.
The SDLP representative said she was alarmed to learn over the last few days that free public transport for older members of the population could be under threat due to political and budgetary difficulties at the NI Executive.
“Undoubtedly, free public transport enables older members of our population to travel unhindered to many places that they would not be able to go to if this facility was not available," she said.
“Free public transport increases accessibility to activities and tourist and recreational facilities. It decreases and reduces marginalisation and loneliness - factors which many older people are subjected to whenever their families leave home and are away at work.
“I spoke directly to the Minister for Regional Development, Danny Kennedy last Thursday - he has ministerial responsibility for this issue. I impressed upon him the need for free public transport provision and how it has benefited a rural population in South Down, and how it has enhanced society and the lives of many, many people."
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