FREE rail travel for pensioners will be scrapped due to transport budget cuts.

The English National Concessionary Travel Scheme (ENCTS) - which enabled pass holders to travel free from on any bus or train service - will no longer be allowed from March 31.

Now, bus users who wish to travel before 9.30am will be charged full fare, but will still be entitled to free travel between 9.30am and 11pm.

Train users will be hardest hit, with all free travel being scrapped.

The cutbacks, which have been approved by the South Yorkshire Integrated Transport Authority (SYITA), come as councillors are forced to make savings of almost 10 per cent to transport budgets.

Coun Mick Jameson, chairman of SYITA, said: "We don’t like having to cut back on services but when your budgets are being slashed there simply isn't a great deal of choice. The savings have come from somewhere.

"The good news is that we have largely been able to protect the bus network and that child fares aren’t being touched this year."

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