24 September 2012
Can a free bus pass improve your health?
Taking advantage of a free bus pass could be improving the health of many older people. A new study has shown that these people are more likely to walk and take exercise, improving their health.
The study comes as David Cameron is feeling pressure to scrap the £1.1billion scheme. The Prime Minister has promised to keep the system but some LibDems think the right to the free bus pass should be means tested.
The study looked at information from four years gathered from the National Travel Survey, which collects data on the travel habits of more than 16,000 people. The results showed that the over 60’s with a free bus pass we more likely to walk frequently and undertake other forms of exercise.
Sophie Coronini-Cronberg, who led the project, said, “Given the need to encourage older people to be physically active, it is good news that the provision of free bus passes seems to be having a positive impact. Before the Government looks at reforming the scheme, they should make sure we understand its value to society.”