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South Yorkshire travel cuts fight rally

Pensioners protest at Barnsley Interchange about proposed changes to travel concessions.

Pensioners protest at Barnsley Interchange about proposed changes to travel concessions.

It was both a celebration of a partial victory and a gathering of troops before the final battle in South Yorkshire.

The biggest turnout yet was recorded by travel cuts protesters who met outside Barnsley railway station yesterday.

Campaigners celebrated a U-turn by transport bosses who are set to reinstate free travel for disabled passholders and half price train travel for pensioners at a meeting next Monday.

But they are still holding out for better conditions, including the return of free bus travel for pensioners before 9.30am.

George Arthur, of the Barnsley Retirees Action Group, said he was ‘buoyed up’ by the number of people who turned up to the latest rally.

He said: “We thought with all the news about the partial U-turn people might think it wasn’t worth coming.

“But so many wanted to celebrate and show they were determined to carry on fighting to improve things further.”

Another rally is to be held on Saturday, with campaigners gathering on Eastgate, Barnsley, from 11am.

If the transport committee agrees the new plans – revealed after weeks of protests – the four councils in South Yorkshire would provide the funding.

South Yorkshire Passenger Transport Executive made the decision to cut or scale back concessionary travel from April to save £629,000 following Government budget cuts.

 

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