COMMUTERS were left stranded yesterday morning, when they tried to walk through the Bristol Street underpass - only to find the gates were still locked.

The tunnel running between the Railway Village and the former GWR Works site should be opened at 7am.

But it was still locked an hour later.

Swindon Borough Council blamed a broken-down vehicle. A spokesman said: “Unfortunately, problems with our security guard’s van meant he could not open up the tunnel at the usual time.

"We sent another member of staff as soon as we could and opened the tunnel at about 8.15am.

"We would like to apologise to anyone who arrived to find the Tunnel closed first thing this morning.”

Those who regularly use the tunnel to walk to the railway station or to work in the town centre took to social media to vent their frustrations.

One woman said: “Luckily, I leave early enough that I still made it to work on time, but it is very frustrating.”

Another added:an hour later “It is still closed, which means a missed connection on the other side.”

Jim Robbins, Rodbourne ward councillor, said: “Whilst I understand that unavoidable issues arise from time to time, the tunnel users have suffered a huge number of delays recently.

“The borough needs to do what it can to make sure they keep users informed. As soon as the van was reported as having broken down, the borough could have used social media and its communications channels to try to let people know the tunnel was closed again.”