Investment in transport connections such as buses is key to tackling social isolation – a fact that has been recognised by the Government today with the publication of its Loneliness Strategy, which aims to tackle the long-term problem of loneliness.
Greener Journeys, the sustainable transport group, has welcomed the Strategy but calls on the Government to increase investment in bus, which are a vital connection to communities for millions of Britons, helping to tackle loneliness across the country.
The Strategy follows increasing evidence of the widespread problem of loneliness in Britain today, including a recent ComRes poll of 2,000 people for Greener Journeys which found that:
- Three in 10 Britons (30 per cent) go at least one day a week without speaking to anyone close to them
- A third of people (33 per cent) deliberately catch the bus to have some human contact
- Almost two in three admit (63 per cent) to feeling lonely
- The problem of loneliness is particularly acute among younger people, with 83 per cent admitting they are affected, compared to 46 per cent of those aged over 65
The release detailing the results can be seen here.
Claire Haigh, Chief Executive of Greener Journeys, said:
“The Government’s Loneliness Strategy is a step in the right direction of tackling a problem that affects everyone, regardless of age, across Britain. However, to be truly effective, the Government must increase investment in bus. Greener Journeys’ recent survey showed how dependent some people are on the bus for everyday human contact, as one-third of Britons admitted to catching the bus to have some human contact. It is crucial that buses get the funding they need to safeguard their future and support millions of vulnerable people.”
“Previous Greener Journeys research has shown how vital buses are for creating social cohesion, with two-thirds believing the bus creates strong community ties. Not only is investment in bus networks vital for creating social cohesion, but it delivers excellent value for money. Bus revenue funding delivers up to £3.80 in wider social, economic and environmental benefit for every £1 spent. And investment in bus infrastructure can deliver more than £8 of wider benefit for local economies and is the best way to tackle pollution and congestion.”
NOTES TO EDITORS:
For further information
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About Greener Journeys: Greener Journeys is a campaign dedicated to encouraging people to make more sustainable travel choices. It is a coalition of the UK’s leading public transport organizations, user groups and supporters. It aims to reduce CO2 emissions from transport by encouraging people to switch some of their car journeys to bus or coach instead. Switching from car to bus for just one journey a month would mean one billion fewer car journeys on our roads and would save 2 million tonnes of CO2 every year. For more information visit www.greenerjourneys.com
About the research: ComRes interviewed 2,002 British adults online between 19th – 20th September 2018. Data are weighted to be demographically representative of all UK adults aged 18+. ComRes is a member of the British Polling Council and abides by its rules.
The full results can be seen on the ComRes website here (available after embargo):