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Decision expected on rail dispute

By Mike Cotton, Town Reporter Wednesday 3rd September 2014
Free Train Travel Protest
A BREAKTHROUGH in the six-months long dispute over free rail travel for pensioners could be reached next week.

A meeting will be held on September 9 between Northern Rail, South Yorkshire Passenger Transport Executive and the Barnsley Retirees Action Group.

Group member Tony Nutall says there would be little point in the rail operator and SYPTE arranging the meeting unless they had 'an offer to put on the table'.

Members of the action group have every morning this week kept up the pressure by attempting to board trains and travel without paying.

The so called 'Freedom Riders' were stopped from boarding trains with transport officers and security guards waiting for them at both ends of the railway station.

Tony said: "We believe that Northern Rail is spending £5,000 on security every time there is a proposed freedom ride, an enormous amount of money has been, in our opinion, wasted.

"We are approaching the six months anniversary of this dispute, it would be nice if it could be resolved, we are quite clear where we stand. Nobody should be under any illusion, we will only stop campaigning when we have won back our free train travel."

A spokesman for Northern Rail said: "We have accepted the invitation to a meeting with the campaigners to try to take things forward on how we can resolve the unnecessary confrontation at Barnsley station."