Loneliness is a crisis, with millions of us feeling lonely often or all of the time. We know from talking to people like Richard that transport is an important part of the picture.
"As a community Transport driver for many years in rural Suffolk, I have had many a passenger say that my arrival is the first time they have been out of the house in months due to winter weather or lack of public transport!"
Sadly our recent research showed that funding for supported bus services has fallen by 45 per cent over the last eight years, resulting in over 3,000 routes being reduced, altered or withdrawn. And it's not only older people who are affected.
"Since losing our bus service my village has been effectively cut off from the wider community. You may think loneliness affects only the elderly but as soon as the bus was axed my children were unable to meet friends at the weekend or take part in extracurricular activities. This has a huge impact on self esteem and confidence."
Parent, southern England
How can we make things better?
The good news is that the Government's new Loneliness Strategy recognises the problem. It says: "People need access to places where they can get together. They need transport that enables them to get to places where they can connect with others." Under the strategy, Ministers at the Department for Transport will have their portfolios extended to include loneliness.
So what needs to change? How can transport be improved to ease loneliness in your community? We'd love to hear your experiences of transport and loneliness: please fill in the form below.
It's not all bad news, as Janette and Neil told us:
"I live alone in a rural village but we have an hourly bus service which connects to a rail service, so if I'm feeling lonely I can visit the library, read newspapers, books, have lunch in the café. It is a fantastic resource. I have a senior bus pass and Railcard and the library is free so my small pension income does not prevent me from using the services."
"I’m very lucky because I have good access to public transport, both bus and train. I have a bus pass and use it a lot. Every day I see older people using their bus passes, getting out to town or country and meeting people on the bus."