A SENIOR official for Northern has explained why dozens of schoolchildren were forced to miss a train home after finishing school.

Up to 30 children, some with passes and tickets, had to wait over an hour for the next service because they could not get to the train in time.

Guards from the rail company carried out revenue checks on Thursday following concerns that schoolchildren were travelling without a ticket.

The chaos meant that pupils who already had tickets could not board the train in time.

Huseyin Varol, whose 13-year-old son missed the train having already paid, said Northern need to provide a system to allow pupils who have tickets to board the train without a problem.

He said: "The problem is that the situation was a free-for-all.

"My son, who is small for his age, had to queue up with pupils who had not paid, although he already had.

"This meant he could not get to the front in time to show the guard he had a ticket for the train.

"Northern need to have a system in place at the station where pupils who have pre-paid can show their ticket and board the train without queueing.

"I had to drive from Barrow to pick him up, so we had to wait nearly 40 minutes."

Chris Jackson, Regional Director for Northern, said: “We carried out revenue checks at Ulverston station yesterday (Thursday) following concerns from the local community regarding ticketless travel by schoolchildren.

“During the checks, those customers with valid tickets were able to board, whilst those without were asked to buy a ticket before boarding. Those without the ability to buy a ticket went back to school.

Chris added: “All children with valid tickets or passes were told to make their way directly to the train, but some chose to stay behind and wait with friends for the later service.

“All children who waited for the later train were allowed to stay in the booking hall and a member of Northern staff stayed with them until the last child had left the station.”