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Security guards called in to stop Freedom Ride protesters taking trains from Barnsley without payment

Security guards sealed off Barnsley station in South Yorkshire yesterday, preventing 80 angry Freedom Riders from boarding trains without payment.

But the protesters staged a rally anyway and are to step up their action by staging Freedom Rides three days a week instead of once.

Freedom Rides began in March in protest at transport authority bosses’ decision to axe free travel for pensioners and disabled people.

The Freedom Riders regularly travel from Barnsley to Sheffield without paying.

In June two were arrested during a rally at Sheffield station and await trial.

Yesterday’s protest was met by a huge security presence.

“It is believed that Northern Rail is spending £5,000 on security every time there is a proposed Freedom Ride,” said Rider Tony Nuttall.

“Some of the freedom riders got into the station and chanted: ‘What a waste of money’ to the assembled security guards.”

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