Concessionary Transport For All Carers -They Require Your Help!!!

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Transport costs are a massive issue that affects so many carers of all ages, from as young as they start school till older adulthood. Many carers face huge financial difficulty and as a result are unable to have much of a social life of there own as they can not afford to get around by public transport. The simple task of getting to shops, collecting medication from the chemist or doing many other things that come as part of the daily routine that  carers face on a day to day basis.

Alongside a caring role its important for carers to be able to attend support groups and meet with friends in order to have a healthy social life which many can not do due to lack of money for transport. As a result of being able to get out and about it allows the carer to be less stressed and lowers the chances of developing a mental health issue due to the many pressures of the caring role.

The cost of travel may not seem like a lot of money to many however £4.00 (in my local area) per adult a day adds up to £28.00 a week of course this varies dependent on where you stay and where you are required to travel to as some carers need to travel far distances for hospital appointments, to provide the care or even to visit the cared for in hospital or in a care home. When this happens the carer will do whatever they can to get to the cared for even if it results in at times not eating or walking miles due to not having money for transport. This is a huge amount of the income a carer receives, especially if their sole income is a mere £62 per week of carers allowance. In some local authorities bus companies can charge extreme amounts for instance to cross three zones in one area it would cost an average of £11 per day. Concessionary travel or even a discount on travel for carers would be huge benefit to so many as many people say that a companion card is not enough. Often people do not realise the cared for has to be present to allow the card to be used, a carer is 9 out of 10 times on there own while traveling so as you see companion card is useless at this point. Carers are not only adults, young carers face the same difficulties surrounding transport costs and because of their age they can not claim carers allowance as of yet. 

45% of young adult carers (18-25) have reported that they have mental health problems due to their caring role and the struggles they face because of it.

68.8% of older carers say that being a carer has an adverse affect on their mental health. This could be lessened by such a small change like concessionary travel. For young people aged 16-19 or in full time education who have a young Scot card you are entitled to a discounted rate of travel however, this discount is only valid on single journeys. In most cases this is no use to a carer as they are making return journeys especially if they are in further education and have a long distance to travel everyday or do not live with the person they provide care for. Some carers have to travel many miles just to visit the person they care for if they are in specialised hospitals or care homes.

Is free concessionary transport for carers really too much to ask for when carers dedicate their lives to provide care to others?