OPINION: Your Star Your Say!

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Fighting for their rights

It’s not a dispute about the journey but more about the destination.

The ‘freedom ride’ protest by elderly and disabled people has been growing in numbers since it began six weeks ago.

Yesterday was the first time campaigners were unable to board trains and ride while refusing to pay.

The protest has come about due to locally-funded concessionary rail travel being stopped by South Yorkshire Passenger Transport Executive from April 1.

For many people this move makes it too costly to take train journeys to see friends, relatives or even for medical appointments.

Receiving free travel is often a right of passage when you reach a certain age.

You have worked all your life – you have paid your ‘stamp’ – and it is expected that there will be benefits forthcoming.

The worry that many of the protestors are raising is that if they roll over and allow this hard-won concession to be taken away from them then what will be next?

Already free weekday travel on buses and trams has been scaled back.

Talks between the action groups and transport chiefs are to take place in Sheffield this afternoon.

Let us hope that progress can be made.