Be old, and be smart

People were puzzled by Lord Laird’s question on older drivers but this Laird question and answer is more obviously useful. He wanted to know how many senior citizens have taken up Translink smart cards since their introduction in May 2002. The minister published a league table comparing take up with eligible population, in June 2004. There are some striking gaps in, for example, Mid Ulster and in Fermanagh and South Tyrone. Any explanations?

Belfast East, 13,604/14,981. Belfast North, 12,840/14,290. Belfast South, 11,856/13,111. Belfast West, 9,249/10,445. East Antrim,10,886/12,038. East Londonderry, 9,421/12,122. Fermanagh and South Tyrone, 8433/13,119. Foyle, 9,157/11,077. Lagan Valley, 12,228/13,936. Mid Ulster, 6,575/10,344.
Newry and Armagh, 9,556/12,883. North Antrim, 11,082/15,537. North Down, 13,306/14,766. South Antrim, 10,880/12,710. South Down, 10,517/13,716. Strangford, 11,852/74,113. Upper Bann,11,742/13,701. West Tyrone, 7,294/10,524.

  • Animus

    How about crap bus service: badly timed, infrequent, and stopping at every hole in the hedge buses in mid-Ulster? I can’t vouch for how appalling the service is in other parts like Fermanagh and S Tyrone.

    It would be interesting to compare car ownership between some of these areas too.

  • DK

    This is not too surprising – bus services are better used in the more urban areas and less used in rural areas. Personally I’m amazed that take-up has been so high – over 80% in most areas.

  • idunnomeself

    Nowhere near 80% in Strangford- although I’ve not seen these 74,000 pensioners there..

    It’s pretty obvious that take up will be lower where the population is dispirsed because the bus service is less frequent/ useful there

    Car ownership is higher in these areas (census fgures are available), and ‘access to services’ is an indicator in the deprivation index.

    But if we will let people build retirement bungalows out in the sticks, why do they get all surprised when they realise that they are miles from services, and why should the rest of society pay through the nose to bring services to their rural idyll?

    Another weird waste of time (and my money) by Laird.