Rail passengers were left trapped on a train platform – after no one turned up to open the station gates.
At least 20 commuters are believed to have been stranded on the platform for more than an hour after arriving at Rochdale train station.
And more than 30 commuters could not get INSIDE the station to catch their trains.
The locked gates should have been opened by a staff member at 5.50am. But they were still locked at 7am after a worker was taken ill. Some commuters opted to take the bus into Manchester in an attempt to get to work on time and others paid out more than £25 for taxis into the city centre. Those travelling for work in Leeds had to wait until the station was opened. Passenger Atiq Mirza, 32, of Queensway, Rochdale, who works at the University of Manchester, said: “There were more than 30 people stood waiting for the train from 6am. I left with a couple of other commuters in a taxi just before 7am. But I was concerned for those stranded on the station. If there had been a fire, there would be no means of escape. We will be handing the taxi receipt in to Northern Rail.”
Ben Alker, 26, of Lowerplace, Rochdale, a manager at Argos in Manchester’s Arndale Centre, said: “I was fuming. I get the train every day. Over Christmas it has been an absolute nightmare and this was the last straw.” Joselyn Rankin, from Northern Rail, said: “Rochdale station opens at 5.50am every weekday morning. This morning the station did not open until 7.10am due to a member of staff having taken ill. We would like to apologise to anyone who was inconvenienced by this.”