New South Yorkshire travel deal on table after pensioners’ campaign

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Pensioners could be offered half price travel on trains in South Yorkshire as part of new proposals.

Campaigners have been fighting for the reversal of cuts to free or concessionary travel for elderly and disabled people in the county.

Now Coun Sir Steve Houghton, leader of Barnsley Council, confirmed that plans to reinstate all free travel for disabled people and offer half price train travel to pensioners from 9.30am would be put to a transport chiefs’ meeting on May 19.

The plans to restrict free travel for older people on buses to after 9.30am would remain in place.

He said Sheffield, Rotherham, Barnsley and Doncaster councils would seek to share the £200,000 cost if the plans were agreed.

Coun Sir Houghton added: “We are hopeful that these proposals will be agreed.

“It is not everything people have been asking for but I do think it shows we have been listening to those people who gave us strong evidence and made a strong case.”

Protestors have been holding ‘freedom rides’ - where they board trains and don’t pay for tickets - across the county after South Yorkshire Passenger Transport Executive made the decision to save £629,000.

Sir Houghton added: “I do want to stress this is not a result of people who have been breaking the law.”

But campaigner Jennifer Bush said the offer had come about after the protest and a judicial review by Sheffield CAB.

She added: “It is a collective victory.”