Background: Older women are particularly reliant on public transport compared with other groups. Among women aged over 75, 60% have no access to a car, and among those over 80, 75% have no access.
The cuts and changes: Public transport in the West Midlands is the responsibility of Centro, which brings together representatives of local authorities in the region.
• In 2011/12 Centro’s budget was cut by £4 million (10%). In 2012/13 it was cut by a further £2.2 million.
• The Ring and Ride scheme in Coventry has had its budget cut from £12.4 million to £10 million in 2011/12 and has had to introduce fares for passengers. This has led to a drop in trip numbers of 14.5%.
• Centro, which funds Ring and Ride, is consulting on new criteria for accessing Ring and Ride, and concerns have been raised that it may exclude many people who currently rely on the service. • There has also been a general review of bus services in Coventry. Some bus routes have changed and some routes terminated. New routes have also been added.
The impact: These cuts will have a disproportionate impact on
older women since they are more likely to rely on public transport.
The cuts are likely to have a potentially serious impact on the private
lives, health, well-being and employment prospects of some older