COMMUTERS travelling to Hereford were left stranded after ticket conductors were banned from walking a short distance to a railway station after their taxi broke down.
London Midland decided to cancel the 17.49 Birmingham New Street to Hereford train after the staff failed to to make the trip from the nearby Snow Hill station in time.
The half-a-mile walk only takes around 10 minutes, but the train company says that it is company policy to provide taxis for its conductors whenever they are carrying large amounts of money and expensive equipment.
The pedestrianised nature of Birmingham city centre means that cars are forced to make a two-mile detour between Snow Hill and New Street.
The taxi carrying the conductors broke down in a tunnel in Queensway, meaning that they could not get to New Street station in time.
James Forrest, a trainee journalist from Malvern, was one of the commuters affected by the cancellation.
"Myself and other passengers were really angry and frustrated at the time by the cancellations," said James.
"But the reasons for the delay are laughable.
"I've walked between the two stations many times and it is a quick and safe journey on foot.
"This is all just another example of poor service from London Midland, despite fares going up.
"To add insult to injury ,when we all boarded the 19.19 train to Hereford, they cancelled it at Worcester.
"I gave up in the end and got my wife to pick me up in her car."
In a statement, London Midland apologised for the delay.
“The two conductors who were due to work were stuck in a broken down taxi in the tunnel on Queensway in Birmingham City Centre," their statement read.
"For the security and protection of its employees, it is London Midland’s policy to provide taxis for conductors travelling between stations as they carry cash and card reading equipment”.