FREE bus travel is proving more expensive for some Cambridgeshire residents than the half-fare scheme they enjoyed until last month. Councils and MPs are pressing the Government to provide extra money for free travel for pensioners and disabled people throughout Cambridgeshire. But red tape means it could be months before bus passengers know if they are to get free travel across the county - and it could take even longer to implement. Until last month, local authorities provided half-fare county-wide travel, which also applied to any journey starting or ending in Cambridgeshire or Peterborough. When the Government demanded free travel for these groups, it was restricted to journeys within each district. A deal between Cambridgeshire councils produced a flat-fare scheme for journeys across district boundaries of £1 single or £1.80 return. Huntingdonshire District Council wanted to retain the county-wide concession and make it free - and was prepared to invest more money to achieve it. But other cash-strapped authorities, particularly South Cambridgeshire, said they could not afford the extra money. Now they are pressing Whitehall to provide cash ahead of a national free pass scheme from 2008, announced by the Chancellor in his Budget in March. South Cambridgeshire District Council's cabinet member for planning and economic development, Councillor David Bard, has written to Transport Secretary Alistair Darling, pleading for more cash. He believes the free travel scheme, which was designed for urban areas, works against South Cambs because there are no towns in the district.