‘The Female Menace’

Have women suddenly become a gaggle of reckless drivers? No…socioeconomic and demographic change have led to more women on the road. 
Statistics tell the story you want them to tell. Stories in yesterday’s Guardian, Telegraph and Metro illustrated this perfectly. Under the headlines such as ‘Huge rise in women who drink-drive’ they report that ‘the number of women caught drink-driving has almost doubled in less than 15 years’. With one article describing the fairer sex as ‘The female menace’, they all reported figures from a recent survey by the insurers Direct Line and the transport charity the Rees Jeffreys Road Fund. Continue reading

Guest blog: Ben Spencer and Tim Jones – Cycling for healthy ageing in the UK

Cycling could play a significant role in maintaining health and wellbeing among older people but the UK is not seizing this opportunity argue Ben Spencer and Tim Jones of Oxford Brookes University.

Regular cycling, even over short distances, can help reduce blood pressure, improve heart health, boost self-reported wellbeing, reduce the risk of cancer and diabetes and lead to weight loss (Cavill and Davis 2007). Cycling could also improve wellbeing by enabling older people to maintain social networks and engage with the outside world. Continue reading

Guest blog: Charles Musselwhite – Beyond the car: Don’t forget the discretionary travel needs of an ageing population

The recent House of Lords’ report from the Select Committee on Public Service and Demographic Change, Ready for Ageing, is a timely reminder of the importance of transport, travel and mobility in later life. The House of Lords report notes the importance of taking into account the needs of older people when planning transport (paragraph 279), but, I wonder, do we know what these needs are?

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Public transport attitudes across the lifecourse – and across the country

The UK’s car-dependence is well-documented. This is reflected in a survey on attitudes to public transport undertaken by the International Longevity Centre-UK with the support of over-50s insurance provider RIAS. As such, half (50 per cent) of all drivers responded that public transport would rarely or never be a realistic alternative to driving for them. Almost one in three (30 per cent) of drivers responded that public transport would sometimes be a realistic alternative. Clearly, however, once you have bought, fuelled and insured a car, even if you could theoretically use public transport occasionally, you are very unlikely in practice to leave your car sat on the driveway.

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