Over 70 people, mainly pensioners, marched noisily through the Pennine market town of Penistone last Thursday. They waved placards and chanted, “Barnsley Council hear us say—Penistone buses here to stay.”
The protest was clearly popular with Stagecoach drivers on local buses passing through Penistone.
The march followed a packed, angry meeting called by the Freedom Riders, a pensioners’ campaign group.
The group was formed to win back free local train travel for older people and defend travel rights generally.
The Labour-controlled South Yorkshire Passenger Transport Executive (SYPTE) plans to axe several villages’ bus services altogether.
Others would be drastically cut back. Penistone’s direct bus to Barnsley Hospital is scheduled to go.
Penistone Labour Party member Alex Simon told the meeting, “I take my hat off to the Freedom Riders.
“We all need a bit of their fighting spirit.”
A woman from Crane Moor told Socialist Worker, “If the SYPTE get their way there will be no more buses through my village. What use will my bus pass be then?”
Reballots have opened the way to bigger struggle