THE GOVERNMENT'S u-turn on scrapping railway ticket offices has been met with celebrations and a sprinkling of sarcasm in Worcester.

Worcester New readers have been reacting to news that the planned closure of the rail ticket office at a city station has been scrapped.

Scheduled for closure were hundreds of ticket offices, including Worcester Shrub Hill, Malvern Link, Great Malvern railway stations, and Evesham.

However, the government announced their change of plans on October 31 following heavy opposition from the public.

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



Read more: MP Robin Walker pleased Worcester Shrub Hill ticket office saved


"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."

One Worcester News reader commented on Facebook: "Now will EVERYONE please buy their tickets via the TICKET OFFICE!!!!!"

Worcester News: Ticket offices at Worcester Shrub Hill, Malvern Link, Great Malvern railway stations, and Evesham

Another pointed out the government's initial intention, stating: "That's great. But don't forget that they tried to do it in the first place. And it was protest that got the u turn".

In a similar vein another commented: "This was part of the strikes, as the government wanted to get rid of manned ticket office's and a u turn to make us think they are ok..."

However another Facebook user noted the ease of other country's ticketing systems, indicating a lack of need for ticket offices: "Just been to Spain no ticket office's on trains or trams no problems why do we need them and the prices are a third of what we pay".

One commenter sarcastically responded: "Amazing! Now I can not afford train tickets both in person and online".

Others rejoiced with comments such as "Brilliant news" and "HOORAY!!".

On the change of plans, transport secretary Mark Harper 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.

“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.”