Transport cuts will hit the poor and the elderly

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Sheffield Trades Union Council has written to the South Yorkshire Integrated Transport Authority to oppose the heavy cuts being imposed on the city’s public transport from April, which will fall disproportionately on the working class people who depend on public transport and will hit the least well-off pensioners and disabled particularly hard.

Restrictions on travel for pensioners and disable people will limit the times they can travel to 0930hrs – 2259hrs and end the use of local rail services altogether. It was a very progressive Labour-controlled SYPTE which pioneered high quality low cost travel in the 1980s giving our elderly and disabled citizens a level of mobility never experienced before.

We share the concern of many at the proposed demise of the much-loved FreeBee city centre free circular service. This is heavily used and very popular. It has proved its worth in helping to make public transport an attractive choice and has been welcomed by city traders for the economic benefits it brings.It seems an act of folly to remove the FreeBee just when the new markets have opened at the bottom of the Moor. The Coalition Government’s austerity spending cuts are wielding the axe where it hurts most. They will also further diminish the attractiveness of public transport and damage the economic well-being of our city.

Martin Mayer