Socialist Worker

Barnsley marchers vote for a new Freedom Ride

by George Arthur
Issue No. 2413

Barnsley freedom riders on the march

Barnsley freedom riders on the march (Pic: Fran Postlethwaite)

Over 100 elderly and disabled people braved the rain in Barnsley last Saturday to march through the town chanting slogans and singing songs.

It was part of a long-running campaign to win back travel concessions for eldery and disabled people.

Protesters rallied outside the bus station with a number of speakers including Tosh McDonald, vice president of the Aslef rail union. 

He told the crowd that their campaign runs parallel to rail unions’ demands for a transport system that is publically owned and run for the benefit of the public.

Campaigners have been staging Freedom Rides, where they board trains and travel for free.

Some Freedom Riders spoke of attending the Durham Miners’ Gala the previous Saturday where they got lots of support. 

Northern Rail sent senior management and extra staff to stand guard in case protesters tried to launch another Freedom Ride.

The demonstration did march around to one of the platforms to show that the campaign carries on. 

A vote decided to lobby Barnsley Council on Thursday of this week and to attempt another Freedom Ride on Monday of next week at 11am from Barnsley train station.


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