Council chiefs from across the county have united to express concern about plans to close railway ticket offices.

The leaders of Worcestershire’s six district councils - Worcester, Malvern Hills, Wychavon, Redditch, Bromsgrove and Wyre Forest - met to discuss proposals by West Midlands Railway and Great Western Railway.

The plans would see all ticket offices across close except one - Worcester Foregate Street.

The district councils are concerned about the impact of the changes on users of rail services in Worcestershire, including tourists at some stations.

They are calling on the rail companies to pay careful attention to points raised by rail users in their consultation.

Councillor Tom Wells, leader of Malvern Hills District Council, chaired the meeting to discuss the issue.

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He said: “The railway companies should not make it harder for people to use railways. It is not just about buying tickets – it is about security and wrap around support for rail users.

“The district councils are particularly concerned about the lack of information and guarantees within West Midlands Railway’s proposals.

“They do not state when staff will be available at the county’s busiest stations that currently have ticket offices, or promise to keep existing access to waiting room and toilet facilities.

“In contrast, Great Western Railway has set out that staff will continue to be present during the same hours as now.”

The consultation closed on Friday, September 1.

In a joint response, the councils have asked West Midlands Railway to set out its proposed timetable for implementing changes, and the guaranteed hours when staff will be present at Worcestershire’s busiest stations.

They have asked the railway companies to guarantee that ticket machines will be provided indoors where possible.

Councillors are also calling for closed ticket office areas to be used for other purposes, such as commercial or community use, rather than being boarded up.