Socialist Worker

Barnsley freedom riders say, 'prepare for Autumn action'

by Dave Gibson
Issue No. 2414

Nearly 100 disabled and older people arrived at Barnsley Rail Station on Monday of this week for the latest Freedom Ride.

Freedom Riders have been protesting since March after South Yorkshire councils cut travel concession for elderly and disabled people. We have boarded trains and travelled for free in protest.

At our subsequent rally we voted to increase the pressure with ten Freedom Rides in three weeks starting from Monday 11 August.

Steve Lonsdale is a retired miner and regular Freedom Ride protester. He told Socialist Worker, “I am determined to keep protesting until we get back free train travel. We have lost too much in recent years. It is time to say, ‘Enough is enough’.”

They had messages of support from pensioners’ groups in Stoke and Walsall. Disabled people protested outside a locked access gate to the platform and forced the police to open it.

Around 50 campaigners protested outside Barnsley Town Hall last Thursday. George Arthur said, “For the first time a significant number of Labour councillors stopped to talk. 

“One councillor called our campaign magnificent. That suggests we are having an effect.”


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