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8 November 2012 | PR 12/196

Loughborough research to make public transport safer for older users

Transport study - older person on bus

Photo credit: iStock Photography

Ensuring public transport is as safe as possible for older users is the focus of a new Loughborough University study.

Every year more than 6,000 people are injured on buses alone in the UK with over 400 killed or seriously injured – around 50 per cent of those are aged 65 and over.

Although public transport remains a very safe way to travel, the Loughborough study will investigate why older people are at a greater risk of being injured on public transport and how these injuries can be mitigated.

The study is being led by Dr Andrew Morris from the Loughborough Design School and is funded by the Medical Research Council as part of the Lifelong Health and Well-being scheme.

 “This is important research for an ageing society,” Dr Morris explains.  “Public transport is vital to older people, giving them access to goods and services and supporting independent living.  It is therefore important they perceive it to be a safe way to travel.

"Older people may be at increased risk as a result of their greater use of this type of transport, and age-related health conditions leading to sensory or cognitive impairment, balance or mobility problems.  But in understanding how and why these injuries occur we can try and prevent them from happening in the future.”

The feasibility study will develop a database detailing the nature and circumstances of injuries that happen to elderly users of public transport in the East Midlands.  It will also create a common methodology and protocol for the investigation of ‘fatal’ accidents involving older public transport users.

−ENDS−

For all media enquiries contact:

Judy Wing
Senior PR Officer
Loughborough University
T: 01509 228697
E: J.L.Wing@lboro.ac.uk 

Notes for editors:

Loughborough is one of the country’s leading universities, with an international reputation for research that matters, excellence in teaching, strong links with industry, and unrivalled achievement in sport and its underpinning academic disciplines.

It was awarded the coveted Sunday Times University of the Year 2008-09 title, and is consistently ranked in the top twenty of UK universities in national newspaper league tables. In the 2011 National Student Survey, Loughborough was voted one of the top universities in the UK, and has topped the Times Higher Education league for the Best Student Experience in England every year since the poll's inception in 2006. In recognition of its contribution to the sector, the University has been awarded six Queen's Anniversary Prizes.

Loughborough is also the UK’s premier university for sport. It has perhaps the best integrated sports development environment in the world and is home to some of the country’s leading coaches, sports scientists and support staff. It also has the country’s largest concentration of world-class training facilities across a wide range of sports.

It is a member of the 1994 Group of 12 leading research-intensive universities. The Group was established in 1994 to promote excellence in university research and teaching. Each member undertakes diverse and high-quality research, while ensuring excellent levels of teaching and student experience.

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This page was last updated on Thursday November 8, 2012 14:54