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People Power Could Force Public Transport U-Turn

Friday May 9 2014

Barnsley Interchange Barnsley Interchange

PROTESTS from elderly and disabled public transport users about the scrapping of free travel may have forced a dramatic U-turn.

The English National Concessionary Travel Scheme (ENCTS) - which enabled pass holders to travel free from on any bus or train service - was ended on March 31.

Now, after numerous protests staged in Barnsley, the Sheffield City Region Combined Authority Transport Committee is considering reinstating concessionary travel at all times.

The proposals include free travel at any time for disabled people, and a half fare scheme for elderly users.

Currently, bus users who wish to travel before 9.30am are charged full fare, but are still entitled to free travel thereafter until 11pm. 

Train users have been hardest hit, with all forms of free travel being scrapped.

A spokesman said: "The budget pressures which led to the changes remain, however the enhancements are being introduced in response to the problems raised through customer feedback."

If approved at the committee's inaugural meeting on May 19, the changes will come in from June 8.

What do you think to this? Have your say below.

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Reply Posted by Red on Friday May 9 2014 at 10:59
A real win for people power.

Reply Posted by barnsley on Friday May 9 2014 at 11:12
They needed to do something about it, it not right nor fare to the elderly or desabled ppl it takes long tp get were they are goin an havin to wait its not right one mad person its frustrating see ppl upset an havin to explain to them why they carnt travlie on the train most dont know to takin in why they carnt do what they have beeb doin doin for years

Reply Posted by sheryll on Friday May 9 2014 at 11:15
Having witnessed the upset this has caused amongst disabled people I hope this is reversal goes through as it will make such a difference to so many lives

Reply Posted by John on Friday May 9 2014 at 11:33
They should keep it like it is. The disability passes are a problem as every Scummer in Barnsley has one yet the ones that do rely on them have to stick to the times.
The amount of times I've taken Disability Pass holders to work and back. If they are able to work, they are able to pay for their travel just like everyone else that works.
As for the elderly, allow them free travel from whatever time to 6pm. That gives them time to get to hospital appointments, doctors, etc. After 6pm, they are travelling for social reasons such as Bingo or the pub so they should pay. If they can afford 6 pints or 6 games of bingo, they can dip into their pickets for a £1.50 bus fare.
As for trains, I've never noticed a doctors surgery at meadowhall. Again, it's travel for social purposes. If they can afford to buy a few clothes from m&s or spend £3 for a cuppa and £5 for a sandwich at meadowhall, make them pay.
Then make the kids pay more.
All these pensioners claiming it's them being hit by all this. Bus fares for ordinary people go up all the time but the coffin dodgers never sympathise with the hard working folk paying taxes to pay for their free travel.

Reply Posted by Well then! on Friday May 9 2014 at 12:03
Oh dear, I was starting to take johns debating seriously until he resorted to calling them coffin dodgers. You live in a free country thanks to the older generation. I don't mind one little bit knowing my tax money is helping older people get out and about, cos it's not just appointments and things, they have lives that they have worked and paid their own taxes, most of them have worked harder in one shift than most people can ever dream of! So stop complaining about the people who built this country getting a little bit back for everything they've done for us, while they watch their country ripped apart by some of the younger people who were never taught any respect!
Good on them I say! We could all learn a thing or two about how to get things done! Xx

Reply Posted by kat on Friday May 9 2014 at 12:05
Bit harsh John, why shouldn't the elderly travel for free after 6pm even if it is for social puposes, the majority of them have worked hard all their lives so why shouldn't they get a little bit back, and the kids fares with Mi cards are going up.

Reply Posted by paul on Friday May 9 2014 at 12:26
The problem was the privatisation of the transport system.

A bus or a train runs whether there is one person on the bus or if it is full.

Reply Posted by ET on Friday May 9 2014 at 13:41
I wonder what derogatory name John will use for himself and his age group when they reach retirement, and I wonder what he will expect as a senior citizen who has worked ALL HIS LIFE FROM 15 - 65, PAYING ALL DUE TAXES ETC.

Reply Posted by jenny on Friday May 9 2014 at 17:00
I wonder what people are going to call John after reading this, for crying out loud show some respect! If we can't let older people and the disabled use public transport for free then what is this town coming to. Good on them all for doing their protests!!

Reply Posted by well done on Friday May 9 2014 at 18:00
Well done to you all, Some people don't see disability unless in a wheel chair or visibly apparent.

Reply Posted by Susan on Friday May 9 2014 at 18:19
Really pleased about this, well done and thank you to all supporters. Hopefully all will be reinstated.

Reply Posted by Helen on Friday May 9 2014 at 19:10
I only get £72 a week pension, live on my own now, have some old friends i see at Meadow hall. All my other freinds have died. I would like to thank all the people who have gone on this protest to help me make a bit better life than being lonely.

Reply Posted by Andrew on Friday May 9 2014 at 20:38
I think it is great that people have banded together and made something happen but whilst I am an activist myself I do not believe in breaking the law to make your point. I think that public transport is a vital link to get people out and about and the feeling of isolation can lead to long term health problems, so if their travel is for pleasure and social reasons there is no reason they should have limited times to be tied to.

Reply Posted by Onthefence on Friday May 9 2014 at 20:49
As much as I do not want to see the elderley nor the disabled impacted I do rhing concessions need to be reassesed I knowaby disabled indiciduals whi revieve the mobility element of DLA But travel free on buses etc so is that not double funding? I agree that travel should be after 9.30 however as from perspnal experiance busss have been full in the morning amd people trying to her to wprl for half nine who are paying for fayres are unable to get on. Whilst I appreciate appointments etc may be early mornjng theae can easily be rearranged.

Reply Posted by Emma on Friday May 9 2014 at 21:26
Personally I think it's fair they should bring bk when they had to pay at least 20 p to travel shy should they get it all for free fed up of people saying they worked all there lives this that and other so what ... Bloke got on bus other day and driver asked if he had a free pass bloke turned round and said no I like to pay my own way like I have done all my life hats off to bloke

Reply Posted by Emma on Friday May 9 2014 at 21:31
PS WELL SAID JOHN should only use for appointments etc not social use well said

Reply Posted by Nicky on Friday May 9 2014 at 21:48
John I travel to western park and am disabled so shut ya gob and have a heart not a brick

Reply Posted by Collet on Friday May 9 2014 at 22:00
John& Emma I'm a pensioner and will be dodging the coffin as long as I can, I also pay taxes because I worked from being 15 upto 65 never out of work,struggled at times to pay into a private pension,and now have to pay tax on the bloody thing,don't know why they don't take every thing away from us and just give us a few vouchers just for basic things, that will leave more money for a lot of you that's never had to break sweat,pay for your expensive mobiles always stuck to you ears,let's hope you never get old enough to realise what struggling for some really means!!!!

Reply Posted by dd on Sunday May 11 2014 at 09:10
well said collette.john and emma are probably layabouts who hope not to reach pension age.

Reply Posted by rachel on Sunday May 11 2014 at 13:12
well dd I for 1 work 12 hr shifts and have three childrens its costs me 30 a week to travel I am 25 years old and av always worked and I kinda agree why should it be different if your old sorry but I pay taxes for layabouts seen I was 16 and so does my husband but when I finish my shift I want to be able to dit down on the train well tbf I av paid for that seat not av to stand up coz ppl r using passes who don't evn need them and I also stuffer wiv a disablitly but still work hard so stop all your bitching seriously there more important things to worry about then who pays fares aarrrgghhh...

Reply Posted by T C on Friday May 9 2014 at 22:33
Almost everywhere else is 9.30 for both oap n disabled passes. And have to pay on train so why shouldn't south Yorkshire too

Reply Posted by hummmm........ on Saturday May 10 2014 at 10:34
I don't understand the big deal with this. Why the fuss over the free tickets for the elderly starting at 9:30am? Where would they go before this time? If they want to go shopping in Barnsley or visiting etc then just go at 9;30am. I take two buses to work daily and I see an elderly gentleman every Tuesday waiting at the bus stop at 9:20am. He doesn't fail to let everyone know that he cant get on the bus because of the changes - why doesn't he just wait 20mins later for the next one. I'm gunna be tempted next time to tell him to do that. I pay £12.00 a week for tickets so I can go to work to pay my bills and pay the taxes that allows him any sort of free travel.

Reply Posted by nicky on Saturday May 10 2014 at 14:07
Well done to all the people in the protest , you were united and hopefully get the outcome you want. I grew up respecting my elders and the disabled and bring my children up doing the same.it should never have been taken away.well done

Reply Posted by hoyland red on Saturday May 10 2014 at 14:37
No Nicky, it should never have been given in the first place then there wouldn't have been this issue. SYPTE still have to find the savings, so chances are someone if not many will be out of a job soon, so yep well done grey army.

Reply Posted by dan on Saturday May 10 2014 at 14:13
My father had a stroke and has hospital appointments at 9 to 9.30 , having to leave before this time obviously , therefore getting on the bus outside his home before a restricted time.also he hasn't a disability pass just a oap one , no time limits just be on it in future.well done to the protesters

Reply Posted by True red on Sunday May 11 2014 at 11:22
If I pay my taxs and work I would be jumping for joy knowing that some of this money is helping my nan or grandad get out and about but I'm not I am close to retirement age and I demand yep you read it demand the right to free travel after working and paying my bus and train fairs for the past fourty five yrs why shouldn't I get a little bit back and if a few narrow minded people think differently tuff wait till you get near retirement age and see if you still have the same attitude

Reply Posted by hoyland red on Sunday May 11 2014 at 14:30
True red my grandparents are wealthier than I am, so why should they have a free pass? Regardless of age if you're wealthy enough to pay then pay.

Reply Posted by Patsy on Sunday May 11 2014 at 12:25
I find it very intriguing that the majority of argumentative comments against any WAB news article are written with such poor English, both grammatically and spelling wise. It's as though their focus is to find fault with other people's beliefs and to spread negativity throughout each story. There are always going to be two sides to every argument especially when creative journalism is involved...that's what sells news but WAB news seems to thrive on comments from people desperate to undermine and goad others rather than debate on the article itself.

Incidentally, I am all for looking after the elderly and free travel, however I do believe a time delay in the mornings would be better for those needing travel to work. Maybe 9.00am would be early but late enough.

Reply Posted by kilkenny on Sunday May 11 2014 at 15:30
Let the old buggers pay full. There have more money then us young ones starting out in life. There sit at home in the paid up bungalow and nice car but still want to travel FREE. makes my blood boil.

Reply Posted by guy fawkes on Sunday May 11 2014 at 16:18
trolling again kill kenny naughty naughty little boy.i find myself agreeing with a part of your posing but not the manner in which you try to get it across.yes if you can afford to pay then pay something the trains and buses dont run on fresh air.

Reply Posted by 4Ft11andshrinking on Sunday May 11 2014 at 15:41
Some of the comments on this debate are down right rude, and no I am not a person who gets their fare paid. We all need to respect the needs of others, especially when they have worked and paid their way through life.

Reply Posted by Sue on Sunday May 11 2014 at 17:10
Excellent news. Justice has been done.

Reply Posted by SAL on Monday May 12 2014 at 07:33
All elderly people should have free travel bus train or tram. Do not forget the folks of yesteryear gave us the freedom we have today. Children should have free travel too, school college and educational trips. If youngsters abuse the service with bad behavour then remove the pass of that individual. Do not forget the children of today are the future and need to be taught well. Disabled people the majority get DLA component for mobIlity, MOBILITY MEANING TO GET OUT AND ABOUT. Thats what it is paid for. I think mobility passes should be asessed individually and given to those who need them example people who need another person with them when travelling. Could debate forever on this one but somehow lots of people think they can just say silly things. I personally do not have a pass but I FULLY SUPPORT THOSE THAT DO NEED THEM.

Reply Posted by guy fawkes on Monday May 12 2014 at 08:37
sal lets also call all the blue badges back in as well and tackle the cancer thats denying barnsley one hell of a lot of parking revenue.

Reply Posted by Tim on Monday May 12 2014 at 08:46
WHY ?? you use that word cancer in that manner is so dam ignorant. I have lost family members and it souldn,t be used for your silly comments.. respect people who have lost loves ones..

Reply Posted by guy fawles on Monday May 12 2014 at 13:54
silly comments i to have lost family members through this terrible disease,how would you describe it when some who genuinely needs a disable parking place cant find one due to this blatant abuse which to me is having a cancerous effect on the finnacial spiritual and moral standing of barnsley.

Reply Posted by stan on Monday May 12 2014 at 12:17
An open letter to all you who have written negative answers about we pensioners and disabled people getting free fares. How many of you would say no if you were offered free bus and train rides.

Reply Posted by Hoyland Red on Monday May 12 2014 at 12:38
Stan, that's the point no one would say no, but you have to realise that the free train fare was offered when there were times of plenty and was not a nationwide concession. Now those times have gone, the oap citizens of South Yorkshire much like everyone else should have to bite the bullet and accept that it was good while it lasted but it was never going to last forever.

Reply Posted by Blue sky on Monday May 12 2014 at 14:40
The pensioners today could not have fought on any world wars so saying that they kept us free is nonsense. The current silver haired people have never been as well off. Make them pay.

Reply Posted by guy fawkes on Tuesday May 13 2014 at 18:21
the reason being blue sky its only the untouchables who vote at elections.

Reply Posted by Sean on Monday May 12 2014 at 19:06
Well chuffed the protests have been fruitful. Good on you all. Well deserved success! Enjoy.

Reply Posted by Tony on Monday May 12 2014 at 22:02
I believe that the passes should be means tested not a free for all. Why should someone with x amount in savings receive the automatic entitlement of a free pass. At least the needy still receive help this way. Reason I say this is I personally know a few involved in the protests who are quite well off to say the least but are protesting on principle not need. And as to the comment regarding mobility component for DLA yes this is to get out and about but pays approx 200 a month on higher rate so why when in receipt of a benefit that has been given to recognise those that have difficulty and allows for taxis etc to travel should they still get free passes? Is that not double funding?

Reply Posted by Roger on Monday May 12 2014 at 22:36
Two good points there. What I can't understand is why it costs anything to have a few OAPs getting on a bus or train that's not even half full in the first place.

Reply Posted by Dr Debate on Monday May 12 2014 at 23:51
Tony your 100% right people on High Rate Motability should not receive a free buss pass as well. If you read the old MTB conditions and the new PIP rules if the disabled claimant can walk 50 now 20 metres they would only qualify.

My debate is if you can walk 50 or now 20 metres above then you should not be claiming DLA or PIP unless you use a wheelchair and then that would probably be different

The debate is open .

Reply Posted by guy fawkes on Tuesday May 13 2014 at 18:17
walk 50 or 20 meters watch erm when its rainning they can move faster than bolty,its now a joke the whole lots drowning in a sea of abuse,on the blue badges its shows a wheelchair if you dont have one in the car or an electric wheelchair why the hell should you get badges.

Reply Posted by True red on Tuesday May 13 2014 at 10:17
Ok doctor you can push a wheel chair further than 20mtrs if you have MS some days you can walk over 50mtrs and other days you can't walk 2mtrs athritus sufferers some times over 20mtrs other times they can't put there feet to the floor your debate is flawed the same as guy Fawkes those who have hidden disability are attacked bullied here is a for instance you see a lad playing up in a supermarket do you say what an ill mannered child it is or do you think this child could be autistic please guy and doctor try to think out side of the box look at poor old Kilkenny

Reply Posted by guy fawkes on Tuesday May 13 2014 at 18:11
dear true red you know like i do and see everyday in barnsley the blatant abuse of the blue badges like you say people who are genuine are suffering due to the overbearing cancerous masses.the council are loosing thousands through it and the genuinely disabled are also loosing there carers cant get a parking space.

Reply Posted by Stephen on Tuesday May 13 2014 at 11:15
I have only just seen this debate, John do you work in the Public service industry,ie Driver for Stagecoach,if so when you are not on duty, you will get free transport for working for Stagecoach plus your wife will receive free or cut price fare,when you have worked all your life you should be able to get a free pass,Disable people have also worked hard all there lives,until there Illness got so bad they could no longer carry on doing there Jobs,hope when you are at retiring age or Disabled your self you get a pass, or will you refuse the pass as you seem to want everyone to pay,how can you tell when someone is Disable by looking at them when they tend there passes,you must be in the wrong profession, why aren't you a Doctor you seem to be able to judge whether a passenger is fit or not,

Reply Posted by Hoyland Red on Tuesday May 13 2014 at 12:20
Just a quick question Stephen - does being disabled mean not having the ability to pay? I'm sure there are plenty of people classified as disabled who work and receive a good wage for it - and good on them. However I fail to see how being disabled automatically means that you're not able to pay for certain services that able bodied people do.