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MPs Write To Secretary Of State After Pensioners' Free Rail Is Scrapped

Tuesday March 11 2014


Barnsley Interchange Barnsley Interchange


FOUR Barnsley MPs have written a joint letter following the announcement that free rail travel for pensioners will be scrapped.

The news - revealed on We Are Barnsley on February 20 - prompted Michael Dugher, John Healey, Dan Jarvis and Angela Smith to write a joint letter to Eric Pickles, the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government, demanding a fairer local government funding system.

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. 

The MPs would like to see areas receive funding based on need so poorer areas are able to protect the vital services and schemes which make such a difference to people's lives.

The letter said: "These massive cuts are being distributed unfairly and elderly and disabled people in Barnsley are suffering as a result.  

"The changes to concessionary travel for the disabled and elderly are only the latest services to be lost in our area, despite the hard work of Barnsley Council.   

"We want a fairer system which would see areas receive funding based on need so poorer areas are able to protect the vital services and schemes which make such a difference to people's lives."

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Reply Posted by Mick on Tuesday March 11 2014 at 15:00
...but will they promise to bring it back if they win the next election? I think it's disappointing that it has happened but isn't unreasonable considering the state of the economy. Pensioners will still get free bus travel after 9.30am. They mentioned disabled people - lots of disabled people are already getting Disability Living Allowance which is to meet the costs of getting around. Pensions have gone up in line with inflation every year too, while wages for lots of people have stayed the same. I think the MPs are just looking to grab a few headlines.

Reply Posted by Rubydoo on Tuesday March 11 2014 at 21:16
I can't speak for all disabled people Mick but someone I know gets DLA and this goes on a specialist support worker at college, £10 an hour. They travel regularly by train locally, this won't stop mum and dad will pay.
I do agree some 'disabled' people have their DLA and still want more,they don't think the DLA should be used on things to help them cope with their disability. Having said that how many get DLA when they really don't need it as they are swinging the lead!! But that's a different debate.

Reply Posted by bananas on Tuesday March 11 2014 at 15:40
save ye paper.

Reply Posted by George on Tuesday March 11 2014 at 15:44
I hope they have cancelled MP's expenses and other travel allowances

Reply Posted by anon on Tuesday March 11 2014 at 15:51
Not all pensioners are poor, it would make more sense for the issue of travel passes to be means tested based on the individuals income and would be a more viable system if concessionary passes gave them heavily discounted travel rather than 'free' travel. At the end of the day transport costs money to run so anyone using it should be making a contribution based on use. On the trains, conductors don't even record on the machine when pensioners show their passes so they have no idea how many people are actually travelling for zero cost. So the current setup makes it impossible to have a fair system.

Reply Posted by nobby on Wednesday March 12 2014 at 12:29
dear anon the same nedds to be applied to heating allowance as well what does the queen do with hers.

Reply Posted by Brian on Tuesday March 11 2014 at 16:23
Surely this is not an issue for Government. I thought that Government provided funding for the 'free' bus travel service which operates from 9.30am. The scheme locally was extended to include rail travel and bus travel from 9.00am by our rulers in the town hall and their mates at SYPTE. It is Barnsley council which has decided to spend it's money elsewhere rather than spend it on additional 'free' travel for the elderly. The Government continue to provide what they promised; 'free' travel for the elderly

Reply Posted by X para on Tuesday March 11 2014 at 21:37
I have worked all my life like so many others my age mick payed my taxes why shouldn't I now reap the benefits of my working life including a free train pass Never mind that I have paid in to the government coffers more than I take out never mind that I have served my country in conflict, not one penny have I taken from this country that I haven't worked for yet some people begrudge me a free bus and train pass shame on the powers that be for letting this happen

Reply Posted by True red on Tuesday March 11 2014 at 22:08
Rubydoo are you for real d.l.a is now defunked and the new p.i.p.s as now taken over with stringent and unfair rules many disabled are now losing this payment and are struggling to cope most disabled people work and the payments help them to get to and from work ,many now will find it difficult now they have lost both

Reply Posted by Rubydoo on Wednesday March 12 2014 at 07:28
Thank you for your polite and reasoned response......not!
DLA is still paid to people who have been on it for a long time, like the person I know who was born disabled.
I know the true disabled are struggling , believe you me you don't need to tell me that. If you read my post I said the disabled person I know will still use the train...........his mum and dad will pay.

Reply Posted by Kfc on Tuesday March 11 2014 at 22:14
75% of all new the old DLA applicants that are re consider for PIP fail due to the new rules.

Thats 3 out of 4 current claiments that for example that have a car on Motability will lose the award under New PiP rules.

Every one on mobility today will have there claim reviewed in next 2 years.

It's already started BEWARE

Reply Posted by nobby on Wednesday March 12 2014 at 12:21
the only ones who should as you put it beware are the skankers who know every fiddle in the book and abuse a system in place that started with such a wonderful motive as now being thrown on the sacraficial alter of the abuses .thats probably why the cars and to me blue badges which are so blantly abused that some people when they see me getting the wifes scooter out are to ashamed to get out of there cars and the disabled scheme needs such a revue the honnest people have nothing to fear .

Reply Posted by anon on Tuesday March 11 2014 at 22:27
If its designed to sort out the genuine claimants from the ones who have lied their ways on to disability then good.

Reply Posted by jason on Tuesday March 11 2014 at 22:28
i wish they would scrap bus pases,we might be able to get to work on a 57 or 59 instead of it been full with oaps,got all day to go out but gta be on the 9am bus?????????????????????????????????make em pay a reduced priced.

Reply Posted by True red on Wednesday March 12 2014 at 09:15
Rubydoo why should the parents subsidise there child who is disabled haven't the parents paid there taxes and national insurance stamp to warrant a train pass after all this government have been subsidising company's who pay low wagers by giving there employees tax credits

Reply Posted by STEVEO on Wednesday March 12 2014 at 09:22
Totally and utterly agree, the government have been subsidising many companies for many years by topping up an employees money via tax credits, now is the time to start and MAKE the employers pay a decent, living rate of pay as far as I am concerned.

Reply Posted by ummm on Wednesday March 12 2014 at 17:01
What do we think will happen to inflation if that happens Steveo? Lets do the maths.
So someone sets up a business pays people a "Living wage" does not make any profit as the employees are too expensive.... end of business. or business pays living wages has not choice but to pass on the cost on prices rises back to square one? or am i missing something?

Reply Posted by STEVEO on Wednesday March 12 2014 at 17:36
SO are you happy that (us) Taxpayers are having to subsidise big companies by means of paying "their" employees Tax Credits because said companies WILL NOT pay a decent living wage?

Lets look at Asos as an example, a company that is on course to become THE biggest online fashion retailer in the world, but yet pay their employees slightly above the minimum wage so a large majority of people that work there HAVE to claim Tax Credits to "top up" their meagre wages and survive.

But alas, Asos have just announced massive profits of £40 million pounds for the last tax year..

Is it right for "us" Taxpayers to subsidise employees of Asos to the tune of millions when the company are making millions themselves?

However, I do agree with what you are saying about paying the living wage for a newly set up company may cause problems, but there are means and ways around things aren't there?

Labour say that if they are elected into power at the next general election they will pay the "living wage" of £7.35, which is not really a living wage when you do the sums is it?
People will STILL have to claim Tax Credits on £7.35 an hour.

Reply Posted by Rubydoo on Wednesday March 12 2014 at 17:37
Yes True red, I agree why should they pay, but they will so as the lad can still get out and about.

Reply Posted by Look outside the box on Wednesday March 12 2014 at 13:57
Nobby are disabled athletes whom appeared in the para Olympic Games skankers are the injured armed forces skankers some of these disabled have been reviewed and pips payments have been taken off them to get a blue badge or mobility is now so difficult that many disabled people will not apply. Do not judge a book by its cover unless you have read it and that goes for a disabled person, just because you don't see the disability it does not mean they haven't got one. Less than1% of people claiming DlA have been as you call it skanking unlike the bankers, politicians and celebrities .

Reply Posted by nobby on Wednesday March 12 2014 at 14:15
dear out of the box what symbol is shown on the blue badge a wheel chair how many wheel chair uses do you see using a blue badge in barnsley.a blue badge is issued for walking difficulties isnt it if you are able to walk and you dont need a wheelchair you shouldnt get the badge .as regaurds your other point if they havent got there pips then obviously somebody as thought they shouldnt get any bennefit and thats that like i said if so many weren twork shy skankers the truly deserving would get more mostly this woul d apply to carers payment of 61.00 a week.

Reply Posted by rainbow on Wednesday March 12 2014 at 17:32
All hot air from our MP's as usual but it sounds like a vote winner for the gullible.??

Reply Posted by True red on Wednesday March 12 2014 at 19:34
Stevo having just been notified that David Cameron as intervened in the trainpass issue he has now taken steps to visit the exeditor of the news of the world to ask her if she would donate an hoss and cart to help the disabled and pensioners to get to Leeds and Sheffield for there medical appointments she replied that she already new from the text she had received from her ex lover and is only to willing to help

Reply Posted by True red on Wednesday March 12 2014 at 19:38
The above comment are made in jest and have no reflection off any truth eh eh eh

Reply Posted by STEVEO on Wednesday March 12 2014 at 21:17
Like it!

Never a truer word spoken in jest...

Reply Posted by Eric Bailey on Sunday March 16 2014 at 11:22
I am voluntary Chairman of Sheffield head and neck cancer support group. I travel to Sheffield every two weeks for meetings. I Iive in Barnsley, if they take away my Bus /Train pass I will have to stand down and leave the the group, I have suffered cancer and I know how much the group rely on people like myself.