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U-turn on free train travel axe

By Katia Harston, Chief Reporter Friday 9th May 2014
Free Train Travel Protest

TRAVEL bosses are poised to make a U-turn on their decision to axe free train travel for the disabled and elderly.

The Chronicle understands an announcement is imminent on a deal which will see free train travel reinstated for the disabled and half price fares for pensioners.

Barnsley Central MP Dan Jarvis said: "Although we are awaiting final confirmation of this decision, it looks like common sense will prevail.

"Thanks to those who lobbied their councillors and engaged in the democratic process, it looks like a solution has been found."

It follows six weeks of protests by members of the Barnsley Retirees Action Group after travel passes were scrapped on March 31 which had given the elderly free train travel after 9am, and allowed those disabled to travel free any time. Both now have to pay full fare at all times.

The latest protest on Wednesday saw Barnsley railway station effectively sealed off by police and rail staff to stop the elderly and disabled getting in to protest. It was the first time since their protests started last month that they failed to get on a train.

Another protest at Barnsley station is planned for Monday at 11am and transport union RMT yesterday pledged full support for the campaigners, including a further demonstration on May 17.

CommentsClick here to add a comment...
Posted by Gordon I Fri 9th May 2014 at 12:35pm

Passes were not scrapped, they are still valid for bus and tram. Publishing mis-truths like this does not help to make a good story.

I'm disabled, have a pass and changed to the bus instead of the train, it takes a bit longer but I still get there.

No doubt we will lose some other council services to cover the cost of putting train travel back on the freebies list. Can't say I support this campaign. Disabled and Pensionable travellers in other counties don't get free train travel.

Posted by GetParity I Sat 10th May 2014 at 1:20pm

It looks a bit "greedy" to carry on with more protests BUT ...

I am appalled that SYPTE / others were allowed to perpetuate the "myth" that the cuts brought us into line with the rest of the UK

Londoners in this age Group get free Bus Tube and Train fares. I looked at 2 more areas at random Manchester where heigh-ho they get free Bus Tram and Train travel and West Midlands Area where they also get Bus Metro and Train travel

I picked those 3 areas at random and later I looked at other areas in the UK and the results threw up that about 50% of those areas included Train travel free as part of the Bus Pass

So I say carry on and let us truly get into step with the majority of the UK and please someone - tell SYPTE or whoever needs to know

Posted by Becky I Sun 11th May 2014 at 9:45am

It's disgusting that elderly and the disabled av to pay for travel my sister is disabled and only as sight in one eye and now as to pay for her bus to collage each morning as she as to be there before 9 and the attitude of some of the bus drivers is disgusting the way they treat her we been in to complain quite a few times but nothing every seems to change!