It says millions of older people are faced with travel problems. More than half of over-65s either never use public transport or use it less than once a month, despite being eligible for free bus travel, it says. Age UK said the transport system was not currently meeting the needs of the growing ageing population.
Approximately 35,000 people aged 65-84 in England have difficulty walking even a short distance, but are restricted to using public transport, making any journey difficult. More than half do not use public transport.
And it says research by Age UK shows that health problems are more likely than age alone to lead to people giving up driving. It claims only 1% of people aged 60 or older, who were surveyed by the charity, would give up driving because of their age, while 43% would stop driving due to health concerns.
Caroline Abrahams, charity director at Age UK, said the report should be "a wake-up call" and that it was worrying how many older people were struggling to reach a hospital or their local GP. She added: "It is crucial that older people are able to get out and about, especially as the evidence shows this helps them retain their health and independence for longer. The bus pass is an absolute lifeline for many who would otherwise be stranded at home and is utterly essential, but the truth is it's not enough on its own to enable older people to stay mobile. For example, better transport planning and more imaginative use of volunteers could make a big difference today, and in the medium term driverless cars and other technological innovations could be real game changers."