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Barnsley 'Freedom Riders' Charged By Police

Thursday June 26 2014

Protests in Barnsley Protests in Barnsley

TWO Barnsley men have been charged with obstructing police following a protest by pensioners at Sheffield train station. 

British Transport Police said George Arthur, of Church Street, Barnsley, had been charged with obstructing a police officer and fare evasion.

Anthony Nuttall, of Honeywell Grove, Barnsley, is charged with obstructing a police officer.

The pair have been bailed and will appear at Sheffield Magistrates' Court on July 7.

The Freedom Riders group - which wants free travel for the elderly to be restored in South Yorkshire - have been protesting since the new rules came in on March 31.

You can view the video of the arrests here.

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Reply Posted by Mick on Thursday June 26 2014 at 10:07
I know there has been uproar that pensioners can be arrested this way but they put themselves in this position. The concessions that they have been given are enough and the protests should stop. The south yorks councils will have to give more money to transport and that has to come from some other service that they would have provided.

Reply Posted by Andrew on Thursday June 26 2014 at 10:13
While I agree with their protest I do not agree with breaking the law to prove your point. Just because they are elderly does not give them the right to obstruct the law or give them a get out of jail free card.

Reply Posted by jill on Thursday June 26 2014 at 10:19
Totally agree.the half fare they have to pay is only about £2.30 return to meadowhall.they want to be here there n everywhere for absolutely nothing.kids fares gone up n adults fare keeps creeping up.at this rate by time I qualify in 14 yr time for my bus pass there will be no free travel at all.my mam n dad 73 n they both say they wouldnt mind paying something on buses too

Reply Posted by Wendy on Thursday June 26 2014 at 10:28
They are protesting for their rights.... the free travel passes they should have....

Reply Posted by k on Thursday June 26 2014 at 10:31
Im sorry but watching that video is disgusting! If a young man had been pushing a police officer round like that there would be a massive uproar but because its an oap its wrong to arrest them? Old people want respect but respect is earned not just given!

Reply Posted by me on Thursday June 26 2014 at 10:34
they should have a look at what people get in other areas of the UK before they complain, what they get now is in line with most other areas. They were fortunate before but cuts have had to be made.

Reply Posted by angela on Saturday June 28 2014 at 12:22
how much **** are you prepared to put up with before you actively let them know enough is enough.being active and protesting is much more likely to get a change in the stuation than just sitting at home moaning about it.

Reply Posted by gloria on Thursday June 26 2014 at 10:38
Sorry but in my opinion, YES protest peacefully but breaking the law isn't going to get them much sympathy, if this was young ones doing this there would be everybody on the case against them. Pay your way and everybody his feeling the pinch.

Reply Posted by ks on Thursday June 26 2014 at 10:49
Everyone is feeling the pinch these days and the funding for oap free travel has to come from other services that are being trimmed back as well. School children have to pay bus fare to school so why shouldn't oaps pay something towards their travel? As for the video, the oap who was assaulting the officer deserves to be arrested. If that was a young person he would have been on the ground in handcuffs and the assault would have been stopped sooner than that.

Reply Posted by Brian on Thursday June 26 2014 at 13:19
I spotted a few left-wing agitators in the crowd - as I would have expected.

The Police were far too restrained and should have been much more positive in their actions. The people arrested should be ashamed of themselves. As should others in the film.

Reply Posted by Wendy on Thursday June 26 2014 at 13:22
The old bloke that got arrested was sat on the bench.... when they started man handling him, n these ppl served your country btw, n this is the only country that makes oap's pay.....thats a government cock up, not their's.....

Reply Posted by Wendy on Thursday June 26 2014 at 13:31
Cut Backs!!!! Why do we need Fountains? a fancy cat in the entrance to the Alhambra? why put glass on Alhambra ? when there's nothing wrong with it? Why put a great big comb outside the Town-hall????? Now they should be cut back not Train fares for OAP's......

Reply Posted by Andrew on Thursday June 26 2014 at 14:15
The fountains and gardens were paid for by a European grant. The new entrance at the Alhambra will be paid for by the company that owns it and not the council. In times of austerity there are things that have to be cut back. I think they should have free train travel but to help balance the books so others areas are not cut even further a good compromise has been made. As for your comment on these people served your country how do you make that out? they are not old enough to have been in the war!

Reply Posted by Jimmy on Thursday June 26 2014 at 21:22
It's funny how the people of South Yorkshire seem to be paying a lot more for this austerity than the people of the Home Counties or MPs.

Reply Posted by russ on Thursday June 26 2014 at 13:35
better giving to the pensioners than the immigrants

Reply Posted by The Lord on Thursday June 26 2014 at 14:02
I don't mind giving free bus travel to old folk, but the cost of train journeys nowadays means that I don't see why pensioners get free train travel in S.Yorks area. I've recently moved up here and I was amazed that this was available. Re: arrests. This has been rumbling on for a good few months and at the start, people were being allowed to travel for free, however, with numbers increasing, I can understand why people are being arrested. If I travelled on a train and refused to pay, I'd be arrested, so why is it one rule for one, one for another?

Wendy - Fountains, Alhambra entrance, the sculpture are all ideas to attract people to come into Barnsley, to spend time in the town centre, to attract businesses to the area. All you hear is people saying "town is a dump" so, these things have to be done to get people into the town centre as well as the town itself.

Reply Posted by Observer on Thursday June 26 2014 at 14:06
Think some o you lot should wake up. Sometimes breaking the law is the only way to acheive. The law is so biased now everything we do is against the law. Have a think about this. These people ( pensioners have worked all their lives and paid into the system for many years. This is what being a pensioner means. Being special. They deserve thjngs like this because they worked hard during the times. Domt forget hopefully we will all be pensions. Stop going on about who gets this n that. This is jealousy spun by the conservatives. This is done purposely to divide. If everyone goes through life working. And lives long enough to reach that age. Good luck to them and dont take from them what i beleive is an entitlemaent. If the govt can slend umpteen million on hs 2??? How is there no money ??? If the local council can spend god knows how many million on a silly bike race. How is there no money. Cmon you lot. Get real wake up. Is it the pensioners..or the government..you decide. !!!

Reply Posted by Fred on Thursday June 26 2014 at 22:47

How do you know these pensioners have ' worked all their lived and paid into the system'. Half of Barnsley are funded by benefits and a good majority have never contributed a single penny to the system, many pensioners included.

Reply Posted by STEVEO on Friday June 27 2014 at 08:56
nice to see you are back,but, tell me where do you get your facts from?
Half of Barnsley are funded by benefits?
I rest my case m'lud.

Reply Posted by Yeti on Friday June 27 2014 at 12:38
Why not base a pensioners allowance on things like the amount of National Insurance and/or tax they've paid during their lives? I'm not sure how this would work exactly, it's just a suggestion. If the person has paid enough tax then I believe they should be entitled to more allowances than say, a person who has worked very little and contributed very little to the system. I absolutely think that someone who has paid taxes all their life should be rewarded.

Reply Posted by LB on Friday July 4 2014 at 16:15
Agree Yeti

Reply Posted by Diane smith on Thursday June 26 2014 at 14:55
They should have to pay like everyone else even kids have to pay. They get enough money so they shouldn't be complaining about travel costs

Reply Posted by Free the spirit and open your mind on Thursday June 26 2014 at 16:42
If the queen and prince Philip can travel on the trains for nothing so can my grandad and as for the idiot that said the older end didn't fight in the war what about Korea, Northern Ireland , Icelandic fish wars,Falklands, and many more conflicts give them free train passes they have payed all there working life on transport don't begrudge them a little bit of freedom

Reply Posted by Hmmm on Thursday June 26 2014 at 18:13
So, if cutbacks are to be made, why take this? I can think of a lot more places to save money than the tiny amount they'll save from this... And it's not just wars they've had to live through, it's been one struggle after another throughout .. Strikes, depressions, they've worked bloody long and hard to have a proxy little travel card taken off em! It's not what it's worth... It's what it means.. The principle of it, and some cases... Yes what it's worth cos they're on a cruddy pension as well.

Reply Posted by Phillip on Thursday June 26 2014 at 20:41
cruddy pensions? some of these elderly people have more money than when they were working! one of them is a retired lecturer on a full works pension as well as the state pension. Others I know from this group also have good pensions. We all work hard and we all pay our way. There had to be cuts made, they still get free bus travel and half price train travel which is better than most. They broke the law and they are being charged. The way they put peoples lives in danger was irresponsible and the police treated them as any other people resisting arrest. Job done

Reply Posted by Jimmy on Thursday June 26 2014 at 21:20
I support the freedom riders, they are fighting for the rights of all pensioners and disabled people in South Yorkshire, not just themselves. So what if some are left-wingers? Plenty of people on here whine about the Council etc but these people have had the balls to do something about it. Not on the same scale of course but if people hadn't broken the law over the years we would still have women denied the vote, segregation in the Deep South and Apartheid in South Africa. When Ukranians defied their government and the rule of law, Wesminster cheered. When it happens here it's a different story.

Reply Posted by Red Optimist on Thursday June 26 2014 at 22:32
Rights? It's a concession.

Reply Posted by Jimmy on Thursday June 26 2014 at 21:20
Westminster. Oops.

Reply Posted by anon on Thursday June 26 2014 at 21:37
Just watched the footage. Sorry,I thought the Police did nothing wrong to be truthfull. They were there to withhold the law and that's what they did.

Reply Posted by murk on Friday June 27 2014 at 08:42
Uphold.. I'm pretty sure you mean uphold the law. Withholding the law is something very different.

Reply Posted by Dr Debate on Thursday June 26 2014 at 21:53
These people have the right to demonstrate they have paid there dues and demands over the years. Stop being spineless and playing into Con Dems and Labour Party cuts.

MPs claim thousands for travel each. One perk for one and nothing for the working class elderly and disabled people.

Stand up and be counted I salute You

Reply Posted by Red Optimist on Thursday June 26 2014 at 22:35
They have not paid their dues and demands to ride on the train!

Reply Posted by STEVEO on Friday June 27 2014 at 09:02
I CONCUR Dr Debate!

There are no cuts for the MP's on the Gravy Train or the rich elite are there?

Austerity for the poorer people in society all whilst the rich fat cats at the top get a LOT fatter and richer.

Reply Posted by Ray on Friday June 27 2014 at 10:12
No ones complaining about a whole other bunch of concessions that are costlier than this one which have remained untouched by cuts.

For instance our esteemed leader Sir Steve Houghton and his colleague Roy miller claimed over 55k last year in allowances on top of their wages. Now I don't know about you but I do not claim for my travel to and from work and I certainly don't claim allowances for my lunch at work and I don't earn anywhere near the 12+k that sir steve gets.

Also these two and many others also sit on many different paid boards and committees and can claim multiple times for attending the same meeting if they are representing more than one capacity.

Why aren't getting our knickers in a twist about this? I'm willing to bet that pubic sector greed and croniesm costs the tax payer much more than this realtively small concession yet goes unnoticed and unchallenged. I have not heard of ONE cut to any payscale or concession to senior councillors despite us all being told everything should be cut

The cost for this travel is a relatively small

I'm disgusted that the needs of many are being trampled over for the excesses of a few.

Reply Posted by Roy on Friday June 27 2014 at 12:15
Councillors don't get wages mate - not unless they've another job. They get an allowance based on their responsibilities. Don't take my word for it - look it up.

Reply Posted by Ray on Friday June 27 2014 at 12:38
Roy I'm using his official title. Councillor Roy Miller and Councilllor sir Steve Houghton who both happend to work for the council also. I don't need to look it up.

Reply Posted by Ray on Friday June 27 2014 at 14:18
And between them they claimed 50 odd grand between them last year in allowances. Now you can call that whatever you want pay , allowance, popo and swee fund, but 50 grand is 50 grand and it's coming from the tax payer and I want to know why they are allowed to claim so much without scrutiny.

Reply Posted by guy fawkes on Friday June 27 2014 at 18:19
Get rid house of lords,get rid half MPs,get rid German parasites namely battenbergs,get rid nuclear weapons,get rid zero hour contracts,get rid of agencies,build more social housing,build better roads,improve rail stock,open mines that can pay there way,reinvest massively into education ,sort NHS out more feet in the wards and less shirt and ties .

Reply Posted by anon on Thursday June 26 2014 at 22:17
Yes Dr.Debate,I agree with you, they should be able to demonstrate peacefully ,but the oldies went out a line, one or two getting violent. These were the people that the police had to restrain. Still think the police did nothing wrong.

Reply Posted by ET on Friday June 27 2014 at 06:06
Let the pensioners ride in the Barnsley councillors free electric car.

Reply Posted by bel on Friday June 27 2014 at 07:27
think they should look at london transport for the over 60 children and the disable they can ride free if its good enough for one place to have free travel then it should be for all

Reply Posted by guy fawkes on Friday June 27 2014 at 18:11
Can we have some London buses full stop fantastic if you're disabled not like the scrap that's driven round Barnsley were is Paul Sykes when her need him.

Reply Posted by Jack on Friday June 27 2014 at 08:41
I am not a fan of the Police but having watched the video I genuinley believe that the Police showed restraint. They did nothing wrong.

Reply Posted by kilkenny on Friday June 27 2014 at 09:13
Now don't go getting your knickers in a twist but in London the unemployed only pay half fares on the buses. So 70p for a journey.

And before you think of posting abuse telling me to get a job..... I work full time.

Reply Posted by guy fawkes on Friday June 27 2014 at 18:09
Yep its an hard life trolling on wab full time yep it probably is.

Reply Posted by kilkenny on Friday June 27 2014 at 10:17
@Ray - actually dear I am planning to move to a crime-free, drugs free area. Now I cannot decide between Kendray or Grimethorpe....................

Reply Posted by rainbow on Friday June 27 2014 at 13:24
Notice the bill for transporting the Royal family has just gone up to £4.2 million?

Reply Posted by guy fawkes on Friday June 27 2014 at 17:53
If public transport causes concern and distress to Barnsley's elderly residents then let's abolish all public transport in Barnsley.I don't want to see elderly people man handled by the police yes the best thing to do get rid of the troublesome distress to the elderly then no more arrests ect .PS. Give me the heads up and I'll rush out and get my taxi licence straight away,kerching kerching.

Reply Posted by Sarah on Saturday June 28 2014 at 10:02
Check out the video on your tube called "Disabled People Against the Cuts Sheffield1" it is pre the pushing & shoving & shows protestors trying to be reasonable. Might give you a diff perspective.

Reply Posted by Aidan on Monday June 30 2014 at 07:16
Pensioners are getting cuts left right and center, cuts to their pensions, their heating fund and now their travel passes, its not fair that they are an easy target for cuts, heating cuts killed shitloads of old folk over the past few years, cuts to pensions are putting them on the brink, they dont have enough to eat and now they have to pay for travel? how can they do that with not enough money to even live on properly? what they are doing is righteous! screw the 'british stiff upper lip' get out on the streets and make some noise! its the only way to get things done! i support them even if they decide to turn violent about it! its their life and well being on the line here... we have got to look after our elderly

Reply Posted by John on Tuesday July 1 2014 at 17:41
You have hit the nail on the head there Aiden, For all you people that have commented OAPs should have to pay fair you are total hypocrites, these people have worked all there lives and most of them fought for this country and for what, a ****** pension that most struggle to live on. They have already had there heating budgets cut now there travel which takes them to do there shopping, what will be next. Good on them for standing for there rights, I know a few people that are claiming a lot of money for disability and there not a thing wrong with them, if they want to cut budgets then sort them out and the ones that think its acceptable to be on the dole for 20 years and not move out of the chair.

Reply Posted by Hoyland Red on Tuesday July 1 2014 at 18:37
John, which war is it that most of these pensioners fought in? An 80 year old person would have been born in 1934 making them 11 year old at the end of WW2. I don't think there's many pensioners left using the buses that fought in the war. Plus I don't think all pensioners worked all their lives as it wasn't exactly the done thing for wives to work not all that long ago. I say they should pay something, not full fare but they too have to share the burden.

Reply Posted by Chris on Tuesday July 1 2014 at 17:18
That video is disgusting. The way that elderly man was assaulting the police was horrendous and if any younger citizen carried out those actions they would have been arrested straight away without any hesitation! The officer showed great restraint and I have to applaud the police on this occasion. But what was the reasoning behind assaulting a police officer? Do they think that this will bring back free travel, that the police are the ones who took it away? I am fully behind protests but using violence is taking it out of proportion. Next thing they'll be rioting in the town centre!
Times change and things don't last forever. Kids have to pay to get to school and adult prices are on the rise every few months so why can't OAPs pay to travel to meadowhall? Not sure on the details of the current prices but a reduced price should be on offer and not full fare.

Reply Posted by Diane smith on Tuesday July 1 2014 at 17:22
My mum was 77 when she died last year and she used to say pensioners get too much she said there were more people worse off and those people deserved help more pensioners get help with there heating. Are they the only people who feel the cold I don't think so. My mums opinion was why shouldn't pensioners pay travel fares like everyone else.

Reply Posted by sarah on Tuesday July 1 2014 at 17:35
The buses are free so no one is being forced to stay in town and if anyone can afford meadowhall prices they can certainly afford to pay something towards the train getting there. My nan goes all over Wakefield Rotherham Doncaster Sheffield all for free on the bus so I can't understand why all the arguing just get the bus.

Reply Posted by Pacer on Tuesday July 1 2014 at 19:29
On a serious note 'Freedom riding' as they seem to want to call it is illegal and so they should be arrested. Lets not forget they are protesting to the wrong people anyway so will get nowhere else without doing something aimed at the people who can change things. I was all for them at first but a lot of problems, for a lot of people some of which have lost a lot of money due to these protests, delays and issues later I have non. They need to look at what they are doing and think about it and as ive said argue the point to the right people who still wont be able to do anything because the government wont give them any money to help. Anyway not that any of these 'freedom riders' will get off at Meadowhall or Sheffield again without been in penalty fare hell... chingggggg

Reply Posted by Anon on Tuesday July 1 2014 at 21:07
I'm a student and I've been paying my way traveling about since I started with my part time job at 16, I get about 150 pound a month and that's for my travel and what ever is left from that, maybe a meal out of a nice little dress, but my nannan gets well over 100 pound a week for leisure in her pension after getting things she needs, and she hates the fact that I'm young and paying my way around in travel at stupid prices just to work to do it all over again, she urges the cuts so the younger generations can afford to do more things, I'm not trying to pull the sympathy card, but I'm lucky to have a small job while I study for my career and my family do support if I need them to but I try and be as independent as I can't, but there are many others that can't afford travel to work or study at my age which is effecting their education, their futures , surely this is something that needs to be sorted before the pensioners get a rage on, we're starting with nothing, things were a lot easier for them than it is for our genaration, I have so much respect for the elders, but even when they say it's stupid for them to protest in this way then something's gone wrong.

Reply Posted by Brian on Friday July 4 2014 at 05:18
Everybody - Employed, Unemployed, OAPs, Children should join the Freedom Riders and demand ''Free Train and Bus Travel For Everybody'' regardless of their age. That would stop all the bitterness and arguing amongst ourselves. Love thy neighbour and treat him/her as you expect them to treat you.

''JUSTICE FOR TONY & GEORGE - Long Live The Freedom Riders''.

Reply Posted by Jenny on Friday August 29 2014 at 16:21
Does anyone now think Nelson Mandela was wrong to break the law in order to break apartheid? No, he is hailed as a hero and quite rightly. Were the suffragettes wrong when they broke the law in order to win votes for women? no again they were heroines. In every just cause throughout history , the law had to be broken in order to bring about reform. If people were listened to and we lived in a true democracy then it wouldn't be necessary. Power to the Freedom riders. Wake up all you dessenters and see what's happening around you. The rich get richer, the poor get poorer, The money is available, it has been proved, don't be fooled, support the people who are fighting not just for themselves but for the young people who one day will also be old and will appreciate then what the Freedom riders did to give them free travel.

ipso Regulated