Plans to close the ticket offices at Malvern Link and Great Malvern railway stations have been abandoned.

The Government today announced a U-turn over proposals to close the vast majority of railway station ticket offices in England.

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 had been met with widespread criticism, including from Malvern’s mayor Clive Hooper and MP Harriett Baldwin, who says she was contacted by hundreds of concerned residents.

“I expressed my clear opposition to this plan because of the effect it may have to deter rail users, particularly the older and vulnerable or disabled customers,” said Mrs Baldwin.

“The speed of response from my constituents and the sheer number of objections suggested that the rail operators had taken the wrong approach and I urged the regulator to have a close look at the proposals.

“Both Malvern Link and Great Malvern stations have had recent investment and I am delighted that my constituents have been heeded.

“I’m now calling on West Midlands Trains to engage better with their customers, to hear this feedback and realise that support for trains, stations and station staff could not be higher.”

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”.

Mr 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.

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

“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.”