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Manchester Institute for Collaborative Research on Ageing

Research project leads to age-friendly bus service

17 March 2017

Older co-researchers help reinstate bus service in Chorlton and Whalley Range.

A group of older volunteers who trained as co-researchers on a MICRA project have successful campaigned for a bus service to be reinstated based on their research. The Researching Age-Friendly Community project led by sociologist Dr Tine Buffel trained 18 older people to explore the age-friendliness of three neighbourhoods of Manchester.

It’s a fantastic achievement to see how we have helped bring about real changes for our peers in Chorlton and Whalley Range’ says Elaine Unegbu, co-researcher. ‘As a co-researcher, I discovered that what people wanted were often small changes but that these could make a big difference to their lives’.

The project findings quickly highlighted the need to improve access to public transport in the area. ‘Transport was a very dominant theme throughout all discussion. If people are unable to get where they need to go because of a lack of accessible transport, then the physical environment is acting as a barrier to social participation’, explains researcher Patty Doran.

The research helped build a case for a new bus route and encouraged Stagecoach Manchester to launch a new bus service (85A) along Withington Road. The new service, which residents have locally renamed ‘the 85 Age-friendly Bus’, now runs every 30 minutes from Chorlton to Manchester City Centre without requiring residents to walk to Alexandra Road South. 

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