South Yorkshire added extra concessions to the travel pass schemes for disabled and elderly people because of the higher rates of disability and lack of money in our area.
Many other parts of the country did the same. London still has free travel during the day on buses, local over ground trains and the underground. West Midlands threatened to take away its concessions but backed down because of a massive protest campaign.
South Yorkshire Passenger Transport Executive voted by 7 to 5 to stop all travel on trains with passes and to only allow bus travel between 9.30am and 11pm. The seven who voted for cuts were 5 Sheffield councillors and 2 Barnsley councillors. This is a particularly severe cut for disabled people who are able to use passes at any time of the day. Many disabled people have been able to take on low paid and part time work because of free travel. Partially sighted people will find handling money outside of ‘free’ times difficult and demeaning.
A meeting of over 300 in Barnsley decided to oppose these cuts. Over 150 turned up to lobby the latest meeting of the SYPTE.
It has been agreed to organise a ‘Freedom Ride’ on Monday 31st March. We are asking people in Barnsley to turn up at Barnsley Train station from 10am to board the 10.24 to Meadowhall refusing to pay. We hope that other parts of South Yorkshire will also aim to get to Meadowhall on their own ‘Freedom Rides’ to meet up for a rally at 11am where we will plan further action.
View the poster: Travel pass Freedom Ride poster