Travel broadens the mind and it’s also a way to meet your friends and social groups. Public transport plays a vital role in reducing the risk of social isolation. So here are a couple of questions:

  • Can you remember Rotherham’s Trolleybuses?
  • Have you heard of the Safe Journey Card and adapted Bus Pass Holder available from First Bus? Even if this does not sound like something for you – read on. It can really help someone you know.

Rotherham Corporation ran a Trolleybus system for 53 years between 1912 and 1965 across 10 routes with up to 80 trolley buses. You can see a couple in Rotherham livery at Sandtoft Trolleybus Museum over in Lincolnshire and one up at Beamish.

If you cannot remember that far back, a Trolleybus is an electric bus drawing its power from overhead wires through spring-loaded trolley poles.

If you can remember the Rotherham Trolleybus or were born in 1953 or earlier you can apply for a Senior Pass. If you live in Rotherham you will qualify for free off peak bus travel (09.30 – 23.00 weekdays and anytime at weekends and bank holidays) plus other concessions. This is part of the English National Travel Scheme. Details are online at https://www.travelsouthyorkshire.com/senior/ or call 01709 515151.

Most people have heard of Senior Passes but, as part of its commitment to being disability friendly, First Bus has also created a Safe Journey Card and adapted Bus Pass Holder helping people with dementia and other vulnerable groups have a better journey experience. It is orange and alerts the driver you may need more care and time. A variety of cards can be displayed in the holder. It might be ‘I have a hidden disability’ (e.g. a memory problem) or a blank one can be completed more specifically.

Keith Sheard, Driver Training Development Manager at First South Yorkshire told me: ‘Our Journey Cards are a really effective means of discreetly communicating with our drivers. Quite often people want to ask for assistance, but they’re unsure how best to do it. While customers can, of course, just ask for any help they need, not everyone finds this easy, or is able to speak clearly. In these instances, these cards give people a way of asking for assistance in a simple, easy and discreet way.’

You can get an orange holder from First Transport calling 01709 566003 or by emailing getintouch@firstgroup.com and don’t forget people with some disabilities are also entitled to travel concessions apart from the Senior Pass. So don’t miss the bus, give them a bell!

David Coldrick is owner of Home Instead Senior Care Rotherham. Telephone 01709 837170 david.coldrick@homeinstead.co.uk