Transport-related social exclusion amongst older people in rural Southwest England and Wales
Shergold, I. and Parkhurst, G. (2012) Transport-related social exclusion amongst older people in rural Southwest England and Wales. To be published in Journal of Rural Studies: Special Issue on Growing Old in Rural Places, 28 (4). pp. 412-421. ISSN 0743-0167 [In Press]
Publisher's URL: http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.jrurstud.2012.01.010
Rural dwelling and older age are both associated with a higher risk of social exclusion, with accessibility identified as having an important facilitating role. The interactions between transport-related exclusion and older age, particularly in a rural context, are considered though analysis of quantitative and qualitative data collected from 900 older persons living in rural areas of Southwest England and Wales. Although few respondents reported feeling excluded within their communities, more reported difficulties in accessing specific necessary and discretionary activities, including specialist hospitals and cinemas. Analysis revealed that car availability is not a strong indicator of overall inclusion, although non-availability was important in limiting access to particular types of location. It is concluded that the relatively short travel distances required to access community activities was a key factor in the high levels of community inclusion. However, the car dependent nature of travel overall means that there is a rising risk of mobility-related exclusion in rural areas, particularly amongst the oldest old. Greater consideration needs to be given to more formalised lift-giving as a transport solution, along with greater attention to mobility needs by sector-specific service providers, such as the health sector.
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