Make Barnsley Chronicle My Home Page Close
Share this story

Meeting arranged to protest travel cuts

By Mike Cotton, Town Reporter Tuesday 25th February 2014
Pd48841 Brenda Hinchliff

PLANS to cancel free rail travel and cut the hours elderly people can use their bus passes has led to the rise of a grey army.

South Yorkshire Passenger Transport Executive's plan to restrict the passes and get rid of the free train option has prompted a surge of protest from older people, and now a meeting is planned for March 1 in Barnsley to look at ways of fighting the issue.

The meeting, organised by the Barnsley Retirees Action Group, is at the central library at 12pm.

Brenda Hinchliff, a town councillor in Penistone, said very little had been done to let people know about the changes, which take effect on April 1.


A spokeswoman for SYPTE, Julie Hurley, said: "I share the disappointment in Barnsley that these changes have been necessary as a result of the government funding cuts."

CommentsClick here to add a comment...
Posted by sally I Tue 25th Feb 2014 at 3:48pm

These cuts are a disgrace. WHY should folks lose there freedom to travel its unfair. Surely something can be done. Its Government cuts again. There are lots of cuts to our people and yet the government send billions overseas. These elderly folks have worked hard during their lives and the government begrudge them a bit of travel freedom. TOTALLY DISGUSTED.

Posted by paul I Wed 26th Feb 2014 at 12:24pm

They took away the free rides from the kids, now they pay 30p per journey which is fair. Why not do the same for the old folk I'm sure that they could afford 30p per journey be it on the bus or train with no time restrictions. They say a little goes a long way.

Posted by stan I Thu 27th Feb 2014 at 1:16pm

Paul a lot of older people have suggested for us to pay as much as 50p which I am sure a lot would pay, but they say because it is a FREE bus pass we can't do it

Posted by A Nonnie Mouse I Thu 27th Feb 2014 at 1:53pm

The pensioners are known by the bus drivers as Twirlie's.....

They can't use their bus pass for free travel until after a certain time and used to stop the buses asking 'Am a Twirlie'. It's amazing how many will then stand out in the cold for the next bus when it's free rather than pay.

Posted by Noel Shaw I Thu 27th Feb 2014 at 8:54pm

Thought we were already restricted to after 9am?

After contributing all our working lives, why do the powers that be constantly reduce our living standards?

Posted by bill hutchinson I Sat 1st Mar 2014 at 3:12am

we can send money other countries then they r sending rockets into space what a joke this government r

Posted by Adolph I Sat 1st Mar 2014 at 9:19am
This comment has been deleted for breaching our site terms.
Posted by susan I Sat 1st Mar 2014 at 9:37am

My mum uses the train to get to town and she visited family too now both will stop .this decision is making older people disconected and isolated .I don't have transport but I would rather walk than get the bus something older people can't do

Posted by brian I Sat 1st Mar 2014 at 4:59pm

is a cost cutting excercise? surley a train costs just as much to run be it empty or full so where is the saving?

Posted by bill hutchinson I Sat 1st Mar 2014 at 10:37pm

u all might like to no it was two barnsley councilors that voted to stop elderly and disabled from traveling on the trains plus not able to buses till 0930 well done barnsley

Posted by JBBlackett I Sun 2nd Mar 2014 at 2:35am

This is what the mealy-mouthed two-faced politicians do all the time. Give a little with one hand then going back on all their 'promises' take even more away with the other hand.


It does not effect them as they and and all their little friends are subsided. through their expenses , aren't they ? Sly, traitorous liars - and never to be trusted

Posted by PC I Sun 2nd Mar 2014 at 7:01am

Torie, labour - They are all the same...complete and utter liars!

Posted by annoyed I Sun 2nd Mar 2014 at 1:51pm

I work for a charity, which solely relies on volunteers most of which are pensioners, this week there has been concerns by them that they will not be able to come and give their valued time and effort because they wont be able to afford the bus fare. it will effect our charity in so many ways, we will loose customers that travel from Wakefield ,Sheffield, Huddersfield and Doncaster ect, who spend money in our shops in Barnsley Town centre, we have volunteers which will no longer will be able to give their time anymore which will loose them their social life which is so important to them. and we will loose all round as a charity Shame on you Barnsley Council.

Posted by David Wood I Sun 2nd Mar 2014 at 8:53pm

Its become very clear that BMBC cant be trusted, its been made perfectly clear that the Conservatives and the Lib/Dems cannot be taken seriously due to there constant lies and U Turns. Who does that leave? The raving looney party, well we have them already or they may be related to those that we have right now. I'm voting UKIP.

Posted by Mr grey I Mon 3rd Mar 2014 at 2:38am

The tories are out in 2015. How can a group of public school millionaires relate to the people of this country?

Posted by Chris I Mon 3rd Mar 2014 at 11:11pm

The people who are affected by these cuts have contributed to the economy and the community all their lives.

They were the backbone of this town. They were here when you could call it a town. When you could walk through the middle of Barnsley and still have some pride in the place and the people......SHAMEFUL

Posted by Rate payer I Tue 4th Mar 2014 at 8:29pm

Name and shame the two from council

Posted by Watt Tyler I Tue 4th Mar 2014 at 9:15pm

The two Barnsley MBC Councillors who sit on the South Yorkshire Integrated Transport Authority (and who voted for the new restrictions to the use of the UK Concessionary Travel Card in South Yorks) are Cllrs Roy Miller and David Leech. I have twice written e-mail to both Councillors as my representatives on SYITA Board:(12 Feb and 27 Feb). My correspondence requested their answers to questions on their rationale for voting for the cuts. I have received neither an acknowledgement nor a response to either e-mail. I attached a "read receipt message" that automatically informed me that the second e-mail had been opened. The arrogance, disrespect and downright ignorance of these two Councillors is typical of the increasing contempt BMBC Councillors have for the Barnsley electorate. I trust that Messrs Miller and Leech won't be as coy when Election time comes around. I hope that their gross arrogance is remembered by their respective Ward members at the ballot-box. Democracy in Barnsley? Yet another example that is increasingly typical of BMBC Council's contempt for the democratic process. Dealing with the Politburo in 60's USSR must have been less problematic than getting the answers from Barnsley Council. Shame on you - Councillors Miller and Leech!!!

Posted by Watt Tyler I Tue 4th Mar 2014 at 9:26pm

I would urge all those affected by South Yorkshire Integrated Transport Authority (SYITA) plans to restrict the use of Travel Passes for the elderly, and who would like to make their feelings known, to join us in our protest and the lobbying of the SYITA Board members when they meet at their office on Regent Street, Barnsley at 0930 on Thursday 6 March 2014. Please forward this appeal to all those who will be affected by the changes. Many thanks.

Posted by rob I Wed 5th Mar 2014 at 1:28pm

ah wot short memories you all have come voting time.

you lot will still vote em back in then start moaning your bins aren't getting emptied.

Posted by Ratepayer I Wed 5th Mar 2014 at 9:23pm
This comment has been deleted for breaching our site terms.
Posted by Sheridan I Thu 6th Mar 2014 at 7:36am

One might not be quite so unhappy about the proposed restrictions in the use is bus passes if there were regular bus services to other Yorkshire towns such as Leeds and Huddersfield. This is surely something which needs to be addressed by those with the power to do something.

Posted by M Dodd I Thu 6th Mar 2014 at 11:18am

With so much money wasted on other non productive schemes it is tragic that a basic social service such as the mobility of the elderly should suffer (subsidising broadband for example is seen as more important). The long term prospect for off peak transport services is not good either as less use by oap's means fewer people on buses etc, and will result in the cancellation of services due to lack of demand and loss of transport jobs. Don't agree with the defeatist attitude to politicians though, local or otherwise, you will have to keep pestering them until they listen. Start with those on the SYPTE

Posted by susan paxford I Sat 8th Mar 2014 at 7:28pm

I think people should have been invited to a meeting before this was decided. Wheres the money going then. How much has supposedly been cut by government !!! If any.

Posted by Rate payer I Sat 8th Mar 2014 at 9:20pm

Susan it's all worked out before any one knows next people will be complaining how they can't get a seat on a bus for concessionary pass users

Posted by susan paxford I Sun 9th Mar 2014 at 7:19am

We have 2 bus services in our village and only 1 on a sunday. The services are rubbish!! Yet stagecoach have learner drivers every week training in the village. These councillors will still get voted in - so what do you do??? Is there any more meetings to oppose this. Can anyone let me know please.

Posted by Ratepayer I Sun 9th Mar 2014 at 5:30pm

Susan they will only get in if you vote for them simple answer vote for someone else

Posted by sue paxford I Sun 9th Mar 2014 at 7:17pm

Ratepayer i can assure you i never vote for a councillor that gets in

Posted by susan paxford I Sun 9th Mar 2014 at 8:42pm

Ratepayer - i do vote but as a southerner thats lived here for 12 years. I dont agree with barnsley council on lots of things. Ive not had my travel pass long but i think in Reading bus time for use has always been 9.30. dont think they cud use on trains not sure. However i do think Barnsley councillors have been under handed over this. I would pay reasonable train fare but not all can afford to. I think the next thing may be cutting services even more. Not a great believer in council. Wanna be politicians !! Most have other jobs i should imagine.

Posted by Worried I Mon 10th Mar 2014 at 6:02pm

Not just the elderly are hit here! As a disabled man working in Rotherham I regularly board the bus to work a minimum wage job before 9am. With the constant cuts I can't afford a car and the bus is my only transport, with the changes I do not know how I will survive! Do SYPTE think all disabled people sit at home on benefits?

Posted by susan paxford I Mon 10th Mar 2014 at 6:53pm

Worried - i totally agree its unfair for disabled people too. Ive been on bus today at 11,20 and no paying customers on it. Scary that more services gonna get cut. Train services i feel will be cut too. If no paying customers i.e. Travel pass holders not being able to pay - the trains buses gonna be empty. I have a senior rail card - £30 a yr. Which allows me 1/3rd off fares. Not that i will use on south yorks now in principle. I just think bmc are being uncaring to people who need to be able to use these services so they can get out and about.

Posted by susan paxford I Mon 10th Mar 2014 at 7:11pm

Sorry i meant i wont use senior rail card to leeds huddersfield out of principal. I will have to use it to get to sheffield for when i visit family and friends in reading. I too work part time and will occassionally have to use before 9 30am. I already have to pay for taxi on wed and some sat as no bus service after 6 20. Rubbish service already. God knows how worse it will get. Please dont vote these councillors in again. Is anyone doing a petition ???

Posted by getagrip I Tue 11th Mar 2014 at 10:47am

Many elderly people have benefitted from rising house prices throughout their lives, a rise which no young people will ever see. They have had their chance to save for their retirement.How can they expect the young who are struggling like never before to get on the housing ladder to effectively pay for their trips out etc. If someone should get free travel it should be those actively looking for work.

Posted by susan paxford I Tue 11th Mar 2014 at 5:40pm

Getagrip literally get a grip!!! Not every one with travel pass owns own homes. I dont expect any one to pay for my travel. Ive always paid my own way in everything. Not everyone is fortunate that is the point. I would pay !!!! Bus service and ral services are rubbish in this area- do you think this will make them better???

Posted by Ratepayer I Tue 11th Mar 2014 at 6:18pm

Susan I'm same as you haven't had my pass all that long worked hard for 45 years payed all my dues and demands ,same as you I don't have any faith in any of our councillers ,they can't even organise a proper bin collection never mind run a town all this to do with the concessionary passes has been very under hand I'm sure some old people would have at least contributed a little if asked but like you say not every one can even afford that I think there as been a few meetings, I know there was one at the libary a few weeks ago,

Posted by susan paxford I Tue 11th Mar 2014 at 8:19pm

General comment every travel pass issued gov give councils x amount of money. Council decides how its used. So if rail concession and bus amended to 9 30. council wil save. If no oaps etc dont pay - no additional money. Next yr services cut ?? This effects future oaps etc - So whats tbe answer??? Get rid of greedy councillors - ask them to use public transport - pay for their own expenses !!!

Posted by GetParity I Sun 16th Mar 2014 at 9:50am

It is an unjust and unnecessary change BUT its a done deal and will not be changed imo

However SYPTE (or the relevant local authorities) should be pressured into "matching" WYPTE stance and offer half fare concessions to Bus Pass holders

They may be holding that back as a sweetener - but who knows - however "we" get there that could be the best outcome as of now

Footnote : If Northern Rail managed to man up their trains they would probably be able to collect about a third more revenue from fares per year that they now miss as the Collector/Guard has no chance as they have too much to do

Posted by andrew I Tue 18th Mar 2014 at 1:56pm

It is ridiculous to stop free rail travel for OAP this is a good cause as lots of old get out and about and this keeps them active and happy rather than sit at home lonely. That means a saving to the NHS as less old people are sick when active and happy. Also the northern rail line has lost more money in fare evasion and none ticket inspection. if all fares were collected this would have saved enough to keep free travel for pensioners. I am also sure pensioners would not mind paying a small token amount for trains.

Posted by GetParity I Mon 24th Mar 2014 at 9:24am

How quickly times changed !

Posted by Aidan I Mon 31st Mar 2014 at 10:01pm

Like so many people not impressed with todays changes to cocessionary travel in South Yorks. I live and work in Sheffield< I am registered disabled and now I have to find an extra £10 a week simply to get to my job.

It's a bit of a double standard here, the Government are making such a fuss about getting the long term sick and disabled back to work but most jobs start long before 9 30 am !!!!!

The loss of the validity of my pass on the specified train services is a big blow too as no doubt it is to many people. Even paying a minimum flat fare of say 50p within South Yorks or say £1 to travel into West Yorks would be more than acceptable and very much cheaper than the fare even with a disabled/senior citizens railcard. Even if you could use the passes on the trains only at weekends/bank holidays that would be something!!!!

Posted by Jan I Wed 2nd Apr 2014 at 12:23pm

Although I'm a pensioner I have a disabled pass. It's only 3 stops to get to my doctor but uphill and despite having a low oxygen condition I am unable to use my pass if I have an early appointment with the GP. Yet my disabilities don't disappear until 9.30.

I'm in Sheffield, which of course is also served by SYPTE. Anyone know of any protests going on there? Anyone know how to object effectively?

Posted by Elizabeth I Fri 4th Apr 2014 at 12:35am

Shame on the Councillors for voting for this, I understand that the decision was not unanimous and other representatives from other Councils such as Doncaster voted against it. I feel deeply upset and resentful as stopping the rail travel in particular means finding money I can't afford to spend on getting to Leeds and Sheffield so I can continue walking and keeping fit. Why does Barnsley Council never look at the affect their decisions make on people. We are told to keep active and socialise to avoid physical and mental problems, save the planet by not using cars, then they stop us doing it! I hope we all become a burden on the NHS that will cost them more than the pittance they have to pay for our travel concessions.

I have already written suggesting the Councillors have a couple of weeks travelling on Public transport instead of claiming their travel expenses.

Posted by Jan I Sat 5th Apr 2014 at 11:32am

As far as the disabled passes goes, "iA legal challenge against the changes has been presented by Sheffield Law Centre due to alleged breaches of the Equality Act. The Law Centre has asked the South Yorkshire Integrated Transport Authority to reconsider and postpone the changes." Well of course the Councils are refusing pointblank to reconsider so let's hope the legal challenge will accomplish what reason has not - although that will take time. I'm looking forward to participating in Freedom Ride 2 on Monday.

Posted by Julie I Sun 13th Apr 2014 at 9:49pm

I urge everyone who holds a concessionary pass to be at Barnsley railway station on Monday 14th April to board the freedom ride to Meadowhall where other like minded people will be gathering to make their voices heard. Only by uniting can we have a chance of getting the changes reversed.

Posted by PHIL I Mon 14th Apr 2014 at 2:24pm
This comment has been deleted for breaching our site terms.
Click here to add a comment...