NORTHERN Rail was under fire today after claims that its staff refused to help a woman pensioner who fell on an escalator at Leeds Station because they were not “people handling-trained”.
The company, which faced fury earlier this week for hiking ticket prices by up to 117% with the axing afternoon off-peak fares, is now accused of “shameful behaviour” over the woman’s plight.
Commuter Tom Lees told the BBC the woman fell backwards after she lost her footing while travelling up an escalator connecting the platforms.
He said: “Some passengers nearby quickly grabbed to help her and shouted to the staff who were stood down the bottom of the escalator about 20 yards away and they sort of refused to help.
“I went and spoke to them to ask them why they wouldn’t help. They said they weren’t allowed to get involved because they weren’t ‘people handling-trained’.”
Mr Lees described the station staff’s behaviour as “shameful”.
In a statement, a spokeswoman for Northern Rail said: “We report any accident directly to Network Rail so a qualified first aider can be alerted.”
The company said it would investigate and “rebrief staff on customer support on the front line.”
The woman who fell on the escalator is not believed to have been injured.