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Concessionary travel: Barnsley Freedom Riders step up campaign after transport manager snub

Barnsley’s Freedom Riders are today planning how to step up their campaign of direct action, after talks with rail and public transport bosses failed to reverse the axing of concessionary rail travel in South Yorkshire.

Northern Rail and transport authority deputy director David Young finally agreed to meet the campaigners, after the transport executive re-introduced travel concessions for disabled people but not pensioners.

But the campaigners said they were “left shocked that the PTE and Northern Rail had no proposals to put forward.”

George Arthur secretary of Barnsley Retirees Action Group (Brag) said: “We were astounded that they had bothered to meet up to tell us that they had nothing to say.”

The Freedom Riders’ campaign of defiance began in March after the withdrawal of free travel for disabled people and pensioners because of government cuts.

Brag joined forces with local disabled people and every week boarded trains at Barnsley railway station, refusing to pay in protest.

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