WORCESTER'S MP has welcomed the news the planned closure of the rail ticket offices at a city station has been scrapped.

Robin Walker has said it is a move he had been pushing for after feedback from constituents. 

Hundreds of ticket offices including Worcester Shrub Hill office, as well as Malvern Link and Great Malvern railway stations, Evesham, were set to close. 

But on Tuesday, (October 31), the government announced the U-turn.

Transport secretary Mark Harper said train operators have been asked to withdraw the proposals as they “do not meet the high thresholds set by ministers”.

The plans have been met with widespread criticism and Mr Walker said a number of residents had contacted him with their concerns. 

Worcester News: STATION: Worcester Shrub HillSTATION: Worcester Shrub Hill

"A lot of groups, including blind groups, have raised it," Mr Walker said. 

"There has been a large strength of feeling from constituents (about this issue), particularly elderly people.

"More people are using online - but people accept that providing an office is part of the service.

"I welcome the change."

Worcester News: MP: Robin WalkerMP: Robin Walker

Karen Lewing, a Worcester city councillor, said the U-turn showed “the power of collective protest - from writing to newspapers, petitions and feedback the result was so overwhelming that even this government couldn’t ignore it”.

The transport secretary said: “The consultation on ticket offices has now ended, with the government making clear to the rail industry throughout the process that any resulting proposals must meet a high threshold of serving passengers.

“We have engaged with accessibility groups throughout this process and listened carefully to passengers as well as my colleagues in Parliament.

Worcester News: TICKETS: A Great Western Railway train and ticketsTICKETS: A Great Western Railway train and tickets

“The proposals that have resulted from this process do not meet the high thresholds set by Ministers, and so the government has asked train operators to withdraw their proposals.

“We will continue our work to reform our railways with the expansion of contactless Pay As You Go ticketing, making stations more accessible through our Access for All programme and £350 million funding through our Network North plan to improve accessibility at up to 100 stations.”

In July this year, industry body the Rail Delivery Group (RDG) unveiled the original proposals which could have led to nearly all offices being shut, with facilities only remaining open at the busiest stations.

The original decision was taken following pressure from the government to cut costs amid the drop in revenue caused by the coronavirus pandemic.