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Freedom Riders plan next campaign

By Mike Cotton, Town Reporter Friday 1st August 2014
Free Train Travel Protest

THE 'Freedom Riders' fighting for a return to free rail travel for pensioners are planning a three-week long offensive to pressure rail bosses into a climb-down.

There was an angry stand-off on Monday as about 90 people gathered outside Barnsley train station to board a train en-masse and refuse to pay. A heavy security presence stopped them entering the station.

The campaigners began boarding trains in protest earlier this year in protest at the scrapping of free travel for the elderly and disabled.

A partial U-turn of the decision saw a return of free travel for the disabled, and half-price travel for the elderly, but they say this is not enough and are pushing for a full reversal back to the way it was before April's cuts came into effect.

Campaigners were kept out of the station on Monday by about 15 police and security staff.

However a small group broke through onto the platform.

A South Yorkshire Passenger Transport Executive spokesman said: "Enhancements to South Yorkshire's senior and disabled concessionary travel scheme were introduced following customer feedback about the problems experienced since changes were made earlier this year."