Anger at plans to increase children’s bus fares by 10p across South Yorkshire

South Yorkshire Freedom Riders protest outside the meeting
South Yorkshire Freedom Riders protest outside the meeting
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A campaign group has hit out at plans which will see children’s bus fares go up by 10p across South Yorkshire.

The South Yorkshire Freedom Riders, a campaign group set up in wake of cuts to concessionary train travel, are calling for a U-turn.

Members of the group lobbied the meeting of the Sheffield City Region Combined Authority yesterday, to voice their opposition to the proposals.

The plans include no change in travel concessions for older people and disabled travellers, but a 10p increase in the 70p fare for children.

Recent figures published by the South Yorkshire Transport Authority indicate a projected under-spend on concessionary fares of 
£2 million.

Members of the campaign group called for the £2 million to be used fully to restore the travel concessions in place for older people before April 2014 and to cancel out the need for the 10p increase for children.

Freedom Rider spokesman Tony Nuttall said: “The Authority’s latest proposals, including the 10p fare increase for children, has been developed behind closed doors and should be dropped.

“The £2million under spend from this year, which is our money, should be used to restore the elderly concessions and stop the 10p increase for children.”

In response to the under spend, a spokesman for SYPTE said: “Concessionary savings from 2015/16 will be carried forward as budgeted savings in 2017/18 to lessen the impact of funding reductions to public transport.

“There are no plans to reverse changes to concessionary travel arrangements passed in 2014, reflecting significant financial pressures across local government.”