Nurse left stranded as rail strike closes Blackpool North station

The shutters were closed today at Blackpool North Station as train strikes continue across the country.

By Wes Holmes
Wednesday, 27th July 2022, 1:08 pm

A signpost ordering people not to travel today was put up outside the train station as some 40,000 members of the RMT union working at Network Rail and 14 other train operators walk out as part of an ongoing dispute over job cuts, pay, pensions and working conditions.

A few unlucky travellers, however, were caught out by the closure and left stranded in the town with nowhere to stay and few options for travel.

Mavis Masombuka, a 72 year old nurse, travelled from Manchester to Blackpool Victoria Hospital yesterday, and worked a night shift. She said: "I live in Manchester - how am I going to get home? It's very bad now. All night I've been working, and I'm supposed to be working again tonight. I don't see it happening. I have no idea what to do.

A sign warns travellers there will be no trains today

"I knew there were strikes, but I didn't know it was going to be today. They shouldn't have allowed me to buy a return ticket if I wasn't going to be able to use it.

"People have been coming and going all morning, but I have nowhere to stay here. I have nobody."

Graham Boardley, 53, from Doncaster, travelled to Blackpool yesterday to drop off a vehicle, and was expected to travel to Carlisle this morning.

He said: "I'll probably have to see if I can get a bus to Preston, and then to Bolton, which will take the rest of the day. I won't make it to Carlisle now. It has caused me a lot of hassle today."

A deserted Blackpool North

A 36 year old mum of three from Runcorn said: "They have let us buy train tickets for today and we can't use them. Its ridiculous.

"I was supposed to see my children today, and if I miss an appointment with them I won't be allowed to see them any more. I feel like crying my eyes out.

"The good thing is we have got friends here so we're not going to be stuck for somewhere to go, but it's beside the point."