OVER 3,000 letters of objection against proposed changes to free bus travel for senior citizens have been submitted to the Department of Infrastructure.
Campaigners have warned any changes to the SmartPass system could leave older people "isolated" and put pressure on families struggling with childcare costs.
A consultation is underway by the Department for Infrastructure to raise the eligibility age for the Translink SmartPass from 60 to 65 or 66.
The department anticipates the cost of running the scheme will rise to over £44 million this year - up from £39m in the last financial year - and is aiming to make savings ahead of expected further increases in the years ahead.
The consultation has sparked protests in recent weeks over any raising of the eligibility age, including a demonstration at Belfast City Hall on Saturday attended by hundreds of people.
On Tuesday, campaigners handed over letters of protest at the Department for Infrastructure's offices in Belfast city centre, and spokesperson Dympna McGlade said the benefits of the existing scheme - which has remained available for the over-60s since 2008 - were "phenomenal".
“Let’s not end up with empty buses, isolated older people and young people unable to work as they have no grandparents to provide the unaffordable childcare costs. We deserve better - save the SmartPass," she said.
People Before Profit MLA Gerry Carroll said there had been a "groundswell of opposition" to the proposed changes.
“Communities will not take cuts lying down," he said.
"Senior citizens are prepared and ready to fight back against the department’s regressive proposals."