A FORMER member of the armed services struggling with PTSD was among the people to hop aboard a bus tackling loneliness.

The Swindon Bus Company Chatty Bus stopped off in Regent Circus for a couple of hours this week.

The initiative aims to highlight the growing problem of loneliness and to give people the chance to strike up a conversation with a stranger.

It is becoming a well-known problem among the elderly, but the company also says young people can be affected.

Marketing executive Alex Makwana told the Adver: “This is a campaign to combat loneliness in the local community. One in ten people go at least one day a week without speaking to anyone and a third of Britons admit to using the bus just for social interaction, which is pretty shocking.

“Also research is showing that people between the ages of 18 and 30 are saying they are also lonely.

"It's because of the rise of smart phones and technology, so anyone has been welcome.

"This morning we had a war veteran who had PTSD, he had a cup of tea and he loved it, because normally he said he doesn't get to chat to any one really."

Wayne Keen, from Park North, who uses the bus regularly, took the opportunity to meet some people.

“I use the bus quite a lot, sometimes just to have a general chit chat, or to have a little conversation about what’s going on," he told the Adver.

An NHS survey of people using social care in Swindon last year showed 59 per cent said they had not had as much contact as they wanted with people they like, up from 53 per cent seven years ago.